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Updated: February 28, 2012 09:54 IST

Former RSS activist held for Samjhauta bombing

Praveen Swami
Comment (37)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
This Feb. 18, 2007.photo shows a bogie of Samjhauta Express on fire after an explosion near Panipat.
PTI This Feb. 18, 2007.photo shows a bogie of Samjhauta Express on fire after an explosion near Panipat.

Kamal Chauhan was part of cell that planted the incendiary devices, NIA sources say

Less than a week short of the fifth anniversary of the firebombing of the Samjhauta Express, detectives of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have held a Madhya Pradesh resident on suspicion of having participated in the terrorist cell which carried out the attack — the first breakthrough in over a year against a core group of fugitives who have been eluded arrest since 2008.

Kamal Chauhan, NIA sources have told The Hindu, is believed to be one of the four men who planted incendiary devices on the Lahore-bound train on February 18, 2007, killing 68 people.

“We believe Chauhan has critical information that could lead us to the rest of the plotters,” an NIA official said.

The Mhow-born Chauhan, a long-standing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist, is the second alleged perpetrator of the bombing to be held. Lokesh Sharma, an Indore-based Hindutva activist held in June 2010 for having participated in the meeting in which the terrorist attack was planned, will now face fresh charges of having participated in the bombing itself, the sources said.

The bombs, the NIA now believes, were manufactured by fugitive Hindutva terrorist Sandeep Dange, an RSS leader who, investigators say, was the core figure in the planning of a series of Hindutva terrorist attacks that began in 2002. Ramchandra Kalsangra, another RSS activist from Madhya Pradesh who served as Dange's alleged lieutenant, is also being sought by authorities in connection with the case.

Much of the details of the Samjhauta attack planning has come from Naba Kumar Sarkar, a leader of the Gujarat-based, RSS-affiliated Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram. In December 2010, Sarkar confessed to a Delhi magistrate that he was present at a June, 2006 meeting in which the firebombing and a string of other terrorist attacks were planned against Muslims.

The idea of firebombing the Samjhauta Express, he claimed, was conceived by Dange as part of a series of terrorist strikes, which included bombings in Malegaon, Hyderabad and the Ajmer Sharif shrine.

Later, Sarkar sought to withdraw his confessional statement, saying it had been made under threat to his life. A final legal determination on its status is yet to be made.

Many members of the group, NIA investigators say, were long-serving RSS activists who became disillusioned with the Hindu right-wing's refusal to replicate the 2002 communal killings in Gujarat nationwide.

Harshad Solanki, who the NIA believes participated in the bombing of the Ajmer Sharif shrine in October, 2007, was given refuge by Dange when he fled Gujarat to avoid arrest after evidence surfaced of his role of in the 2002 massacre.

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Mr.Iqbal! The Hindu never termed the word MUSLIM TERRORIST any time in the past. I am reading this paper since about 30 years but I never found such words used. But some times it might have been used by the article writers, like Praveen Swamy, but for the first time he also has surprisingly changed his colours though. So we cannot blame Hindu. If ever there is real newspaper which goes by some standards of justice, it is the Hindu. It has reported and wrote in editorials about the week and the oppressed whenever needed and never justified injustice to the weaker sections of the country. HINDU is, therefore, not Hindu after all! It brings out the truth and the truth is bitter pill for liars and hypocrites. Hence, some of the above comments that Modi is not indicted by SIT, they fail to understand that all evidences might have been destroyed by the complicit administration and SIT could not gather what is destroyed.

from:  khader shaik
Posted on: Feb 15, 2012 at 23:46 IST

The RSS routinely tries to create communal disharmony in Mangalore District through its leaders speeches or thru its affiliate organizations such s the Bajrang Dal/Ram Sene. Their leaders make inflammtory speeches etc. and then act as if what they said is normal.Many police officers have been transferred and shunted for trying to reason out with these people. They are indirectly helping our neighbour Pakistan by creating communal unrest in India.
It is apparent that a RSS member who is supposed to create unrest resigns from the organization so that the organization can tell a white lie that they are ignorant of that persons activities.

from:  Biju
Posted on: Feb 14, 2012 at 08:36 IST

The RSS, Indian Mujaheddin and those all those groups that blocked Salman Rushdie's book at the Jaipur Lit Fest are tearing India apart. The government should crack down on all of them regardless if they have carried out these bombings. They preach violence and hatred. The RSS has a very delusional idea of Hinduism, they should be renamed the Hindu Taliban.

from:  Abner
Posted on: Feb 14, 2012 at 03:08 IST

According to the author "Many members of the group, NIA investigators say, were long-serving RSS activists who became disillusioned with the Hindu right-wing's refusal to replicate the 2002 communal killings in Gujarat nationwide." The author could have stated directly that RSS was responsible for the 2002 "communal killings" in Gujarat. If that is the case, RSS could be charged by the NIA (with a good amount of help from CBI, ever ready at the beck and call of the Central govt.). And it is not too late, particularly with the ongoing assembly elections in various states and the forthcoming parliamentary election in a few years.

from:  K V Jayan
Posted on: Feb 14, 2012 at 00:38 IST

1)the indictment is based on mere confessions from certain individuals
2)there is no material evidence and the confessions might have been extracted
3)why to name the RSS in the report,as it is being said that they are former RSS activists and have left the organization they certainly don't endorse the views of organization
4)why has NIA made the news public even before filing a chargesheet

from:  Krishna Reddy
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 17:11 IST

Only those who could support terrorism can say it is a plot by congress in view of UP elections.It is clear that after the arrest of RSS activits in some bomb blasts,terrorist attacks/encounter death in India have considerably reduced,especially in Gujarat.Earlier there was frequent Terrorist attacks and media and police run after muslim terrorists with properr investigations.

from:  Sadath Nedumangad
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 16:49 IST

"the Hindu right-wing's refusal to replicate the 2002 communal killings in Gujarat nationwide" If i had any doubt that this author was biased, this statement clears everything. A case of mixing news with personal views, a feature less seen in the Hindu.

from:  RKG
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 16:41 IST

Reading between the lines here, two of Swami's statements are of
particular interest:

1. He says Naba Kumar Sarkar tried to withdraw his confessional
statement indicting the Hindutva lobby, claiming it had been made
under duress, and that a 'final legal determination on its status is
yet to be made.' Swami's sense of fairness here is amusing, granted
the absolute ease with which his writings have implicated innocent
Muslim youth in other incidents in the past.

2. Swami also suggests that according to the NIA, many members of the
group 'were long-serving RSS activists who became disillusioned with
the Hindu right-wing's refusal to replicate the 2002 communal killings
in Gujarat nationwide.' So are we to take it now that the Hindu right-
wing has become all reformed and saintly?

A better bag of tricks is due, surely!

from:  Aneesha S. Khan
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 14:31 IST

A plot by congress? This report should have been published well before the elections.. biased people... green or safron does it matter?

from:  Syed
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 14:19 IST

Normally Muslims are targeted as terrorists. I agree there are some Muslims outfits who are trying to malign the whole community. But that does not mean all bombings and other terrorist attacks are carried out by Muslims outfits only. Who are responsible for Malegaon blasts and Mecca Masjid blasts in Hydrabad? Terrorists are terrorists whether they be Muslims,Hindus,Christians or belongs to any other religion. Laws should be passed to hang these culprits in public.

from:  Md.Hussain Bukhari
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 14:13 IST

Saying terrorists have no religion is baseless as almost all extremists in India act under the guise of religion. Swami should have properly described the person arrested as 'suspected to be a Hindu terrorist'. Double standards not only hurt sentiments of a sect but also might result in non - confidence in the system. After all, India is for everyone!

from:  Manoj
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 13:37 IST

Only those who is supporting RSS for their heinous activities can say that these developments are in connection with on going elections.it is visible that terrorist attacks in India have reduced considerably after the arrest of RSS activits.RSS had started frightening Indians who believes in secular values and democracy by killing Mahatma Gandhi.Then after myriad number of riots against minority communities had been done by RSS,no one lives in India can have another opinion about that.Nowadays they are planting bombs and killings innocent Indians,irrespective of their relegion,and blaming that to muslim community and there by trying to keep one community as a whole in the shadow of suspicion and there by gaining political mileage.

from:  Sadath Nedumangad
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 13:12 IST

This is completely a political game played by Kongress, The time of arrest is showing this(while there is election going in Up). And about saffron terrorism , there is nothing like, This is only made by media (paid by congress) and congress itself. if a proper investigation takes place, all the innocent accused will be freed. This kind of arrest will only grow the angriness among th e people

from:  Navin
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 13:04 IST

Terrorists are terrorists and they have no religion. Is it not the responsibility of PRESS to gauge their words when they write about any terrorist activity? If the terrorist happens to be a Muslim, by name, the Press defines the terrorist as MUSLIM TERRORIST. In today's article why the PRESS has not defined the accused as HINDU TERRORISTS, why this DOUBLE STANDARD while giving such reports. PRESS is equally responsible for the damages caused to any individual community.PRESS is requested to be moderate while writing such articles.

from:  iqbal
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 12:50 IST

Good move by NIA, if Praveen Swami's report is true. However, we have seen from previous instances how Mr Swami manages sensational news at the cost of innocent individuals. But for a change this time it is about RSS, so he might well be trying a balancing act. Or has he finally understood terrorism has no colour in particular?! Is it not time for The Hindu to do away with Swami and recover some of its lost credibility?

from:  pwa
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 12:49 IST

I agree with the reader who commented about treating terrorists alike, one and
the same, to avoid the automatic bias that fuels communities against one another,
be they those of religious, national or multi-national persuasion.
All over the world, it has been observed that attempts at apprehending the
culprits are futile, given the time it takes and due to the subsequent attacks by
these people.
What is more the need, is an awareness amongst the citizenry that they can
make a difference, for them to come forward and actively participate in the
imprisoning of these desperados: this would also serve to deter the younger ones
from joining such heinous organisations; and it would certainly help the common
wo/man's cause to have religious indoctrinators be forced onto the back benches,
far away from messing with young and impressionable minds as easily as they can,
and do, now.

from:  Shailen Karur
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 12:20 IST

The Hindutwa Terrorists should be investigated with complete transperacy. The court should not grant any bail to these people as the Muslim Terrorists were not granted. These terrorists are trying to rule India by creating communal violence between Hindus and Muslims. And, the media is the primary cause of such communal violence. The foremost job of a media is to investigate the situation properly and tell the maximum truth under investigation and not as per supecion. Anything under suspecion will be wrongly understood by the people and they turn against to each community. What ever the case may be; either Ajmeer or Maelegon blast, the media immediately reported some muslim extremist group's name. But later investigation showed that it was completely planned by the Hindutwa Terrorists / Saffron Terrorists. So, the media should report the news properly without any discrimination. The Media is a power which can make revolution and resolution.

from:  Karkare
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 12:10 IST

2points:
1)NIA is caught a person kamal chauhan one of the excutioner of an event of 2007. look how efficient it is. and as they caught the person, immediateltly they come to know that he is RSS. How insane logic is this. did thay guy was holding membership card or uniform or anything that certigies him, that he is member of RSS. this is a very filthy material that the hindu ( i didn't expected this from this paper, as this is a material which could be in other newspapers) has taken it in this biased (congress) version.
2) even in case, that kamal chauhan has calaimed to be a member of this, he is not a representative of RSS. he is a guilty person, and he should be punished, but irrelevently RSS shouldn't be malign. i have been a student of this organization's wing, and i know they teach us gus culture and about retaining the integrity of our country, as we say it bharat maata. this kind of blame is hurting our emotion. i can easily smell the fishy thing in this column.

from:  punit
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 11:54 IST

Some comments shows how narrow minded peoples are there. arresting a terrorist they wanted to link with Congress and election and making down the moral of police official. As a responsible and educated citizen we have to accept the things irrespective of religion/cast/languages etc.

from:  ahmed
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 11:46 IST

if its a plot by congress then this report will have been published well before the elections or atleast before the UP's first two phase.. please don't get biased by yourself, don't predetermine anything or judge yourself.. please also have the tolerance if any news come against our mindsets.. terrorism is really a poison, it will end in other's life.. don't look over the colour.. green or safron.. look for the judgement..

from:  sayeed
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 11:44 IST

An involvement of former RSS activist does not mean that the ploy was
conspired and executed by RSS. Its an individuals mentality and/or
circumstances which compell them to do such sinful acts irrespective of
any religion or Dharma.

from:  Mano
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 11:33 IST

Killing innocent is the heinous crime and should be condemned utmost be it any religion, but the report is published on wrong or right time of the Election is to point of guess. moreover, the reporter seems to be either jealous or loss of mind for using word Hindu terrorist too many times in his/her article. I would expect The Hindu to look thru the article before publishing it.

from:  Guru
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 11:29 IST

RSS is indeed transforming to an extreme form of threat in the country. Saffron terrorism needs to be accepted as much as we would like Pakistan to acknowledge the presence of terrorist groups on their soil. This case might be proved or not; but the existing extremist mindset of some sects needs to be identified and subdued before India reaches the sorry state that Pakistan has now.

from:  Manoj
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 11:09 IST

Terrorists are terrorists, considering them as Hindus and Muslims is a big mistake that we do continuously. Terrorists are not Hindus or Muslims, even not human beings. Country have to wipe them out without sympathy so innocent people would not be killed.

from:  Kunhalankutty
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 10:46 IST

Poll gimmick by congress, govt. Departments and media. Accusing is different and proving the crime is different. They may even prove with wrong evidence and congress and Indian judiciary are hand in hand. Jai Hind. I love India not political parties.

from:  Sri
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 10:25 IST

This might be the ploy by Congress to woo the muslim vote in UP elections.The timing of this arrest makes it too omnious for others to see

from:  Sujit
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 10:13 IST

RSS should be deemed a terrorist outfit. Their morals do not help grow a safe and secular society. They talk about moral policing? Look at their own political wind the BJP, they say watching porn in the assembly is fine it’s not like do in it?

In human people corrupting others mind with the help of religion.

from:  Syed
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 09:39 IST

pakistan totally anti india. It is aiming all weapons against india. It is working with pakistan for military bases of china in POK. All its leaders are aginst india in all forums. They have anti india terror network intact. Still our politicians bastards want to malign hindus for sake of muslim vote bank favouring pakistan. What is the need of to run samjhauta express when pakistan stand is clear anti india ? This UPA stood to destroy india by supporting pakistan anti india works for sake of muslim vote bank. Muslims are indians first. They also need to thwart this anti india design by dislodging UPA from power.

from:  BVS Manyam
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 09:31 IST

These RSS members give our great Hinduism a bad name amongst all. They reject 'Dharm' and embrace 'Adharm'. Don't let these intolerant, folks hijack our ancient civilization with their lies and hatred. We are proud and strong and non-violent and kind; that is our glory. Jai Mata di. Jai Hind. Jai Shiv Shankar.

from:  Manish Sharma
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 08:42 IST

The RSS role in terrorism has come out in the open. The
government must ban this organization to ensure that it's
activities do not continue.
If SIMI can be banned, why not the RSS ?

from:  S N Iyer
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 07:19 IST

After getting relief(managed) from 2-G spectrum case home minister is now working on conspiracy theory of Hindu Terrorism to take revenge from B.J.P. and RSS on the instruction of Sonia Myno(Gandhi) who also takes instruction from Venican City.This is systematic campaign to malign the image of Hindus and appease Muslim fundamentalist.For narrow political gain Congress party is doing this, this will have serious implication in the near future on national security and communal harmony.This propaganda is not in the interest of Muslims.Muslim community should understand this and vote against congress in election.Only Muslims can teach this lesson to congress otherwise country would be divide on communal line once again.

from:  Anuj Singh
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 07:14 IST

Probably in a hurry to pain the RSS in the dark, an element of haste
appears to have resulted in a grammatical error ( "a core group of
fugitives who have been eluded arrest since 2008 ")

from:  Amaruvi Devanathan
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 05:00 IST


Very clever play of words indeed. After repeating many times "a long-standing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist" for each person named you towards the end say "Many members of the group, NIA investigators say, were long-serving RSS activists who became disillusioned with the Hindu right-wing's refusal to "replicate" the 2002 communal killings in Gujarat nationwide".

So what's the bottomline? RSS is not involved but its "disillusioned" members were involved. Why you don't say it clearly and upfront?

from:  Naser
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 04:54 IST

Good effort by Intelligence agencies. No matter how low our neighbors
may go in harboring and protecting terrorists responsible for 26/11, it
is our responsibility to clean the dirt on our side. Just as we hate
islamic terrorism, we need to denounce such acts by Hindu extremists
too. Hope the case is solved soon and all culprits are behind bars.

from:  Yogesh
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 04:03 IST

I hope that the Indian judicial system can find some "prosecutable evidence" against Mr. Chauhan.

from:  Tipu Qaimkhani
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 03:50 IST

You have used the word 'Hindutva terrorist attack'. Do you think the terrorist attacks
are Muslim and Hindu and Christian in nature. It just shows the hatred for Hindus in
Hindu.I thought Hindu is a respected newspaper?

from:  Dr Anand Arya
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 03:36 IST

These all powerful agencies have been coming up with such news for the last few years. If at least one of them had solid evidence, okay. But all we see is just accusations and statements like, he is believed to be, blah blah. It seems the congress party as usual is trying to frame up something to justify the term "saffron terrorism"

from:  Narayanan
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 02:11 IST
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