India’s National Investigation Agency set up after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, has released a report pointing a finger at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for allegedly allowing its premises to be used for right-wing terror activities.
One of the cases still being investigated by NIA is the Feb. 18, 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express, a twice-weekly train between India and Pakistan, which killed 68 people and injures scores of others.
This January 21, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde accused the Bharatiya Janata Party and the RSS of sponsoring right wing extremists. On January 23, Home Secretary R.K. Singh said the government had the names of at least 10 people involved in several blasts, who were associated with the RSS, the Times of India reported. "During investigation of Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and (Ajmer) Dargah Sharif blasts, we have found at least 10 names who have been associated with the RSS at some point or the other," Singh is quoted saying in Times of India.
The NIA report spells out specific alleged instances of interaction between RSS functionaries and terror suspects belonging to the right. One of them involves an alleged meeting between Joshi and Bharat Bhai, another suspect in the Samjhauta case, meeting Indresh Kumar, an RSS operative, to get 50,000 rupees for buying explosives and other material, the Hindustan Times reported quoting from the NIA’s chargesheet in the Samjhauta case.
"These are all fictional accounts. Prior probes running into 3500 pages, including narco test of SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India) leader Safdar Nagori, government's own dossier to Pakistan on Samjhauta blast and UN Security Council resolution on Lashkar financer Arif Qasmani have been discarded," Supreme Court lawyer, BJP spokesperson and vice president of the BJP Mahila Morcha, Meenakshi Lekhi, is quoted saying in Hindustan Times to rebut accusations against Indresh.
The chargsheet also says that when investigators spoke to Bharat Bhai, he conceded that he had visited the Nagpur RSS office to meet Indresh and Sunil Joshi, the news report says.
"Indresh gave Rs. 50,000 to Manoj (alias Sunil Joshi) and they discussed something in low voice. When I asked Manoj about the money, he told me that Indreshji had given money for some special task," said Bharat Bhai as quoted in the NIA report in the Hindustan Times. A few other instances of alleged meetings involving RSS functionaries or the offices of the organization are mentioned in the NIA report.
"At no level, any functionary of the RSS was involved in any terror activities. The loopholes in the probes make us disbelieve the whole investigation. We have full faith in the judiciary," Ram Madhav, spokesman of RSS, is quoted saying in the Hindustan Times report.