6-week exercise to fight notion that it is behind conspiracies

Worried about the fallout of the reported confession by Swami Aseemanand, which could lead to an unravelling of the Samjhauta blasts conspiracy, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has started a six-week, mass contact programme to undo the damage to its reputation.

With about 40 of its cadres investigated and interrogated so far in connection with the Ajmer Sharief, Malegaon, Samjhauta and Mecca Masjid blasts, the RSS leadership decided on the mass contact programme at its Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini meeting at Jalgaon in October last.

A report on the outcome of the programme will be presented and evaluated in March at the Pratinidhi Sabha meeting, RSS leader Ram Madhav told a select group of journalists here on Friday.

Swayamsevaks (volunteers) drawn from many RSS organisations, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, armed with pamphlets and booklets will go door to door in various areas till the end of February to spread the message that the Sangh as an organisation has nothing to do with any terror activity.

“We will tell the people it is a political design to defame the RSS, and it is also sending a wrong signal to the world outside about the Hindu community as a whole,” Mr. Madhav said about the ‘abhiyan,' which started on January 1.

The issue has been discussed threadbare by the RSS leadership. While the Sangh has cooperated with investigations, the organisation also feels that the possible involvement of a “few” of its members is being exploited to tarnish its name.

Of the seven persons reported to be among the accused in different cases — Pragnya Singh Thakur, Lokesh Sharma, Devendra Gupta, Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi, Ramchandra Kalsangre, and Sandeep Dange — Joshi was murdered, allegedly by his own associates.

The National Investigation Agency has announced a reward of Rs.10 lakh for information that may lead to the arrest of Kalsangre and Dange, who are absconding. A reward of Rs.2 lakh has been announced for information on one Ashok.

While not ruling out the possibility of a few individuals “straying” into undesirable activities, Mr. Madhav said it would be totally wrong to say the RSS was behind the conspiracies. It is this notion that the RSS intends fighting through its mass contact programme.

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