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Nanded blast accused spill all in narco test

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | November 07, 2008 12:15 IST

Hindu terror is here, if investigating agencies are to be believed. The arrest and subsequent interrogation of Sadhvi Pragya Singh, an Army officer and others for their alleged involvement in the Malegaon blasts of 2008 indicate the growing involvement of rightwing Hindu activists in terror acts.

While 'Hindu terror acts' are made out to be a relatively new concept, the fact remains that the first signs of Hindu terror came to the fore as way back as 2006, when a bomb went off while bding assembled in a Hindu activist's house in Nanded, Maharashtra.

Confessions by those arrested in that incident, during a narco-analysis test, throw light on how some Hindus decided to execute terror strikes, their modus operandi and the source of funding.

Two of the accused have spelt out in detail the reason for them taking the terror path, and investigating officers say the causes are very similar to the one being attached to the recent Malegaon blasts.

Manoharrao Pande, one of the accused in the case, said they were trained in handling explosive devices. He also said one of the persons, Himanshu Pande, who died while assembling the explosives, was a master at it. He said all terror attacks that occurred in the Marathwada region, including in Jalna, Purnea and Parbhani, were planned by Himanshu.

The explosives, he said, were stored in a gym and the same was brought by Himanshu from Pune.

Fund-raising: While businessmen from Saudi Arabia are believed to pump in funds to sponsor terror by Islamic groups, some Hindu groups mobilised funds from locals. Pande said they had collected Rs 45,000 for making bombs and a minor part of this amount came from the money earned by the gym. He also mentioned that some rightwing Hindu outfits and local political leaders supported them.

The motive: Another accused in the same case, Bhanurao Vithalrao Choudhary, during his narco-analysis test spelt out the motive behind carrying out terror strikes in the country. He said the bomb that exploded by accident in Nanded was actually meant to target a mosque at Aurangabad the next day. He, too, mentioned Himanshu, saying the latter was the one who told them they needed to fight Muslim terror.

Choudhary said Himanshu was perturbed by the fact that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim [Images] had got away unpunished and hence revenge had to be exacted. According to Himanshu, Dawood was responsible for the Gateway of India blast in 2003 which killed many. Sanjay said the motive behind the attacks that were planned by them was to safeguard Hindutva by targeting the Muslim population in the country.

Aleem Faizee, social activist working for the Malegaon blast victims, said during investigation the police recovered a map depicting the Aurangabad mosque. Worse, the cops also found fake beards and Muslim outfits. The intention was to plant bombs under the guise of a Muslim to mislead investigators into believing that the bombs were planted by Muslims.

Interestingly, the statements given by some of the accused arrested in connection with the recent Delhi [Images] blasts mentions that their leader, Riyaz Bhatkal, had told them the blasts were being undertaken only to avenge the Mecca Masjid blasts which, he believed, were undertaken by some Hindu outfits to shift the blame on Muslims.

Faizee said the recent developments in the Malegaon case and the revelations by the two accused raised a doubt regarding the perpetrators behind various other blasts that rocked the country.

According to Faizee, the blasts that need to be probed are:

Parbhani blasts of November 21, 2003.
Jalna blasts of August 27, 2004
.
Jama Masjid blast in Delhi on April 14, 2006
Mecca Masjid blast, May 18, 2007
Ajmer blasts, October 11, 2007.
Modasa blast,  September 29, 2008.
Malegaon blast, September 8, 2006.

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