Ever since a 'Hindu' link to terrorism surfaced in the form of 'sadhvi' Pragya Singh Thakur, many in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have been spending sleepless nights, wondering where police investigations will lead once the agencies are able to connect all the dots that have emerged over the past two years.
Malegaon in Maharashtra, Macca Masjid in Andhra Pradesh, Ajmer in Rajasthan and a question mark on the blasts in the Samjhauta Express. The list seems to go on. Terrorism may have no religion, but for the RSS it is discomfiting to have not only Hindus linked to acts of terror but to also have some of those individuals connected to the organisation as well.
Now, after intense discussions within the RSS, a clear line has emerged: there is no way the organisation will either "protect" or help those who are indulging in such activities or have done so in the past. After the initial noises which seemed supportive of Pragya Singh — L.K. Advani and Rajnath Singh had issued statements — the RSS and its affiliates have decided to maintain silence on new developments as the investigations get under way. Therefore, there was not even a murmur when an RSS pracharak, Devendra Gupta, was arrested in connection with the Ajmer blasts.
RSS sources told The Hindu that the view that has emerged after intense internal discussion is that the organisation should steer clear of this matter and cooperate with the police while giving no protection to the accused. If terror activities do get linked to the RSS in the minds of the people, the organisation would run into some very rough weather, the sources said.
The organisation was "extremely worried" about being linked to terrorism. A strong message has been sent to all swayamsevaks (RSS volunteers) that they should expect no protection if they are mixed up in any terrorist activity, said an RSS leader.
"If even for a day the RSS were to be directly linked to terrorist activity, we would suffer a fate worse than what we did after the murder of the Mahatma when the finger of suspicion pointed to the RSS [the RSS was given the benefit of the doubt in the case]," the leader said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
There was no way the RSS could deny that Gupta was a 'pracharak' of the RSS who was posted in the Jharkhand area for several years. His arrest in connection with the 2007 blast in the Ajmer dargah, which killed three persons and left many more injured, was too close for comfort. Worse, the SIM cards used in the blast carried the same series as those found in the Macca Masjid blasts, showing a strong connection. They were purchased in Jharkhand.
"The RSS decided to fully cooperate with the police. We gave them all the information we had about Gupta. There is another wanted person, Ramji Kalsangra. Let me tell you we will be relieved if he is arrested and the entire ring connected that was based in Indore is busted by the police," said the RSS leader.
What the RSS wants to convey is that as an organisation these activities were not planned by it. If some stray individuals in the organisation have got caught up in terror acts, the RSS will not protect them. It will cooperate with the police, the leader said.