Home > 2019 > What was at Stake in the 2006/2008 Malegaon Terror Attacks?

Mainstream, VOL LVII No 19 New Delhi April 27, 2019

What was at Stake in the 2006/2008 Malegaon Terror Attacks?

Monday 29 April 2019

by Mustafa Khan

It was a colossal risk when the two Malegaon terror attacks took place. Israel had asked the Abhinav Bharat of Lt Col Purohit of the Indian Army to provide two such attacks to prove the bona fide of seeking help from Israel for the Hindu Rashtra. India would have ceased to be a secular democratic government. What is more, Israel would have come to acquire control over the new government that was envisaged by the conspirators. The conspirators would have established the Hindu Rashtra with red flag at the Indian embassy in Tel Aviv and diplomatic recognition and supply of Israeli arms and ammunition. The Israelis wanted the conspi-rators of Abhinav Bharat to give just two examples. It was for ATS chief Hemant Karkare and his devoted team of police officers that the treason in the high places went haywire, the arrangement broke down, or ceased to function properly.

Soon after the bomb blew up at Bhiku Chowk, Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur rang up Ramji Kalsangra.

Sadhvi: How many have died in the explosion?

Ramji: Two or three have died.

Sadhvi: You had calculated many would die when you went there.

Ramji: There was some mistake in the timing. We tried to park the motor bike at two or three places but we were not allowed there. Then we parked at one place and I left the spot. There was not a huge crowd then. There was so much explosive material that the front part of the vehicle was blown to smithereens.

Everything was planned meticulously by retired Army personnel and a Lt-Col in service and others involved in it. Ramji and Sandeep Dange wanted to place the motorcycle at the corner of Anjuman Chowk but the lady police refused them. Had the bombs exploded there the casualties would have been in hundreds, mostly women and children buying bangles or ear rings or boutique for Ramzan Id a couple of days later. Another attempt to park the motorcycle of Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur was in front of the transport company. They parked it there. But the owner went to the police chowki across the road and asked the police to remove it. They refused. A crowd gathered there and they tampered the motorcycle in an attempt to move it away and unknowingly changed the focus of the bomb in the dicky.

Ramji and Dange wanted maximum casualties. The pulling and pushing of the vehicle disturbed the setting. Another delay was the devotees’ prayer for their own sake and for the community. The hotels at the Bhiku Chowk missed the crowds who remained inside the mosque and couldn’t reach the hotels and the bomb went off.

Abhinav Bharat aimed to kill a mass number of people to meet the Israeli condition.

There was a great risk involved even earlier in the 2006 attack. ATS chief of Maharashtra K.P. Raghuvanshi had framed nine Muslim youths in bogus terror charges; except one all the others were innocent. The explosion of four bombs at the graveyard and Mushawarat Chowk had killed nearly 40 Muslims at the prayer. However, there was a change. On September 1, 2008 Hemant Karkare had taken over charge of the ATS from Raghuvanshi. His reasons for framing charges were illogical. That Muslims had suffered heavily in the October 2001 communal riots in Malegaon. They wanted to avenge it. Another reason was that those who do not go to the graveyard and pray for their dead on Shabe Barat wanted to stop those who pray at the graves of their dear ones at night. The bombs were meant to go off at night time when the crowd is very huge in the cemetery. But the four bombs went off at 1.30 in noon time. The local police used this argument and showed that the culprits were members of the Students Islamic Movement of India. But the SIMI was hardly known to the youths in the town. SP Rajverdhan Sinha and Raghuvanshi began investigating. This made up the line of inquiry.

The blasts were linked to the smuggling of RDX into the town in May 2006. The nine youths accused of the blasts had to languish in prison until Swami Aseemanand accepted that the 2008 as well as 2006 blasts were the works of Abhinav Bharat. Among the suspects were Rajender Choudhary, Lokesh Sharma, Ramchand Kalsanghra, Sandeep Dange, Amit Chouhan, etc. Subsequently some were arrested.

Some other accused/suspects also held parleys with Yogi Aditynath and the Nepalese royal family for their envisioned Hindu Rashtra.

Most of these details were recorded in the lap-tops of Purohit and the so-called Shankaracharya aka Dyanand Pandey, Sudhakar Dwivedi. Hemant Karkare was a decent gentleman and hid from public view how the Shankaracharya had his private harem of women of repute. But his honest officers made transcript of confessions, etc. That found place in the charge-sheets he was preparing. The matter relating to the Lt Col Purohit, a serving officer of the Army, was very serious. But it was trashed by no other persons than those in the Army and M.K. Narayanan, the National Security Advisor. The meeting had taken place in Delhi where Karkare laid bare before the Army officers and the NSA the involvement of the Army. This happened a day before the attack in Mumbai 26/11/2008 which also took his life. However, before that he had met the US embassy officers who had offered asylum to him!

Arms seizure of May 2006 was linked to both the attacks. Purohit had stolen 60 kg RDX from Army stock and kept it with Dyanand Pandey. A part of it was given to one Bhaghwan to be used in the Samjhauta train attack. Some of it ended up in the cantonment in Deolali near Nashik. However the arrest of Pragyasingh, Purohit, Gen Ramesh Upadhya, and others prevented the establishment of the Hindu Rashtra. That was at stake. It should not be beyond the realm of possibility that there was a hint of taking over of the country by Abhinav Bharat what with the theft of RDX from Jammu by a serving officer of the Army and the huge explosion on August 24, 2008 at Kanpur in which Bajrang Dal activists Rajiv Mishra and Bhupender Singh were killed. It was such a huge explosion that would have destroyed half the city, according to the police there.

The new Hindutva is so ebullient that striking the Pakistan bombs on their own soil is palpably at hand. No wonder then there will be more concerted effort to cause heavy casualties of Indian Muslims, the real target of new Hindutva.

If any Indian distinguished himself by writing history by his sweat and while doing so made history by writing it in his blood, it is this modest looking man. This Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Maharashtra will be remembered for good. Those who were breathing down his neck will breathe a sigh of relief but all others will be grief-sticken.

The author belongs to Malegaon, Maharashtra.

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