Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh said on Tuesday that at least 10 people having close links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliated organisations were named accused in various acts of terror across India.
“Yes, during investigations of Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and [Ajmer] Dargah Sharif blasts, we have found names of at least 10 persons who have been associated with the RSS at some point or the other,” he told journalists here.
His statement comes two days after Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in Jaipur that probe agencies had found the BJP and the RSS conducted training camps to spread terrorism. “We will have to think about it seriously and will have to remain alert,” he had said. His statement drew sharp reactions from the RSS and the BJP and the latter’s allies such as the Shiv Sena and the Janata Dal (United).
“We have evidence”
Did the government have any evidence of the RSS links of the persons arrested in the blast cases? “We have evidence against them... there are statements of witnesses,” the Home Secretary said.
Mr. Singh said Sunil Joshi [now dead], who worked for the RSS in Dewas and Mhow from the 1990s to 2003, was involved in the Samjhauta Express and Ajmer Sharif Dargah blasts.
An RSS ‘pracharak,’ Sandeep Dange, wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), was an accused in the two blasts and the one at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.
Lokesh Sharma, Rajender alias Samunder and Kamal Chouhan, now in jail for their involvement in the Samjhauta Express and Mecca Masjid blasts, were closely linked to the RSS. While Lokesh was its ‘nagar karyavahak’ (city functionary) in Deogarh, Rajendra was ‘varg vistarak’ (an important propagandist position). Ramji Kalsangra, who is also wanted for the Samjhauta Express and Mecca Masjid blasts, was an RSS associate, Mr. Singh said.
Another Godhra-based activist of the RSS, Mukesh Vasani, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast, while Devender Gupta, an RSS ‘pracharak’ in Mhow and Indore, was in jail in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast case. RSS activist in Shajhanpur, Chandrasekhar Leve, was arrested in the Mecca Masjid blast case, he said.
Mr. Singh also referred to Swami Aseemanand, who is alleged to be the main conspirator in the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif Dargah blasts, and said he was associated with an RSS wing, Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad, in Dang, Gujarat, from the 1990s to 2007.