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'If they planted the bomb at Malegaon, we are proud of them'

November 17, 2008 12:30 IST
Last Updated: November 17, 2008 12:47 IST

A host of pro-Hindutva outfits, including Abhinav Bharat, organised a meeting in Pune on Sunday to raise money for the accused in the Malegaon blast case.

Taking strong exception to the expression 'Hindu terrorism' being used in regard to the suspects booked by the Anti-Terrorism Squad -- Sadhvi Pragya Singh, Lt Col Shrikant Purohit and Dayanand Pandey -- Abhinav Bharat president Himani Savarkar told the gathering that the money collected would be used for the legal battle to defend and free the accused.

'You can't plan an operation like Malegaon blast in a day'

Savarkar, who also heads the Hindu Mahasabha, shared the platform with leaders of Shiv Sena and Vishwa Hindu Parishad at the meeting held at Shivaji Mandir in the heart of the city, which is emerging as an alleged springboard of pro-Hindutva activism.

Malegaon Blast Probe

The leaders who spoke on the occasion accused the ATS of framing Lt Col Purohit, who is being prosecuted by the
ATS for his alleged links with the Malegaon blast, and also compared him to Mangal Pandey, who was executed for rebelling against the British Empire during the 1857 sepoy mutiny.

'My daughter Pragya is innocent'

Shiv Sena leader Nana Wadekar said, "We do not know whether the accused really planted bombs as alleged. But if they had done so, we are proud of them as it should be seen as an act in defence of Hindus."

He went on to recall Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's [Images] statement in the wake of demolition of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya that "If my Sainiks have brought down the Masjid, I am proud of  them."                                                                             

'Don't fight terror on basis of religion'

The speakers at the rally alleged that the ATS sleuths were subjecting the Malegaon accused to torture and humiliation at the behest of the Congress government, as the party was orchestrating a vilification campaign against Hindu Sadhvis and saints, with an eye on the Muslim vote bank in the coming elections.

The rally was described by the speakers as the first public meeting organised in support of the Malegaon accused.

Explosive revelations of Lt Col Purohit

Representatives of Patit Pawan, a hardline pro-Hindutva organisation, presented a sword to Himani Savarkar, who said the money being collected would be deposited in a bank account to fight court battles for the Malegaon blast accused.

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