Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Indresh Kumar's name has often been mentioned in connection with several terror acts around the country. Barring a few instances where his name has cropped up during interrogation of some accused, the investigating agencies have not managed to get anything concrete against him.
But both the National Investigating Agency and the Central Bureau of Investigation are now looking into a statement made by Colonel Srikant Purohit, one of the accused in the Malegaon blast, in which he said he had hatched a plot to kill Indresh Kumar.
Although these revelations are not directly connected to the ongoing investigations into the Malegaon, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer or Samjautha Express blasts case, investigating agencies are keen to find out more since it indicates that there was a clear split in the right-wing terror network.
What interests the investigating agencies more is that Purohit also claimed that Kumar had alleged links to the Inter Services Intelligence. Sources say this allegation forms part of an intelligence report from the military and they will need to probe it further.
Sources told rediff.com that there was constant confrontation between Kumar and Purohit, who founded the Abhinav Bharat, which led the latter to hatch a plan to eliminate Kumar. While Purohit claims their differences led to the plot, officials point out that Purohit and the rest felt betrayed that Kumar didn't do much to protect them as had promised.
Problems began between the two over Nepal. Purohit had been very vocal that there should not be a regime change in Nepal since he felt that under the King the Himalayan nation was a Hindu rashtra. However according to him, Kumar didn't do too much to ensure that the monarchy survived and this led to the King being dethroned. Purohit believed that Kumar had a vested interest in Nepal since he had some personal business there.
Investigators are convinced that Purohit was a hardliner. He had no other interest but to counter the ISI which he felt had become a big menace. All through his interrogation he stuck to this fact. He claimed he was focused on attaining a Hindu nation and for this all ISI elements had to be eliminated.
It was for this that he launched Abhinav Bharat. He recruited cadre and also businessmen from Pune to fund his operations, he claimed. He also had special branches to do separate jobs such as finance, arms supply and logistics. He was particular that people like Kumar should not remain in this network since he felt betrayed by them.
Maharashtra's Anti-Terror Squad which has been probing Purohit found certain versions regarding this conspiracy to be contradictory. Initially, Purohit claimed that he was asked to kill Kumar. However, one of the financiers of the outfit, Shyam Apte claimed that Purohit launched the plot. However, investigations so far have shown that he first complained to his superiors in the army regarding Kumar and his ISI links but they were never taken seriously and hence he decided to take action himself.
During the planning stages he also tried to rope in Sadhvi Pragya Singh, another accused in the Malegaon blast, but she refused to take part since she had high regard for Kumar. Purohit is alleged to have told Singh his plan and also sent two persons to her and asked her to accommodate them till it was time to execute the plot. However, she flatly refused and investigators feel that she may have tipped off Kumar about this plan.
Investigators say the plan was hatched in 2008 in New Delhi. Purohit had gone to an ashram in Faridabad along with a retired major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer and Bharat to carry out the assassination. Over there they met godman Dayanand Pandey and decided that they would need to procure arms and ammunition to carry out the attack.
Ganesh Sovani, advocate for Pragya Singh, however, said that these aspects have not come up for probe since they do not find any mention in the reports handed out by the investigating agencies.
The plan to eliminate Kumar however did not materialise since Purohit was arrested and the entire operation fell flat.