'The CBI is political, it is not going after the truth'
Indresh Kumar, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader who is under the national scanner for serious, but, so far unsubstantiated, allegations of mentoring a group of terrorists, in the second-part of an exclusive chat with rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt.
In part I, Indresh spoke of his upbringing and his ideology
In the second and final part he defends himself against charges of terror and points fingers at the government itself.What do you want to say about the serious charges levelled against you?
I want to tell you a few important things about it. The blasts that you are talking about are the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid (Hyderabad), Ajmer and Malegaon. Four government agencies have fixed up these cases.
After blasts on the Samjhauta Express and the Mecca Masjid, they arrested many Students Islamic Movement of India activists and jailed them. Some of them had to undergo the narco test and the reports are before them (the investigators). Many accused have confessed that they were involved in these blasts. The home ministry, through the ministry of external affairs, has provided some evidence of it to Pakistan.
Long ago, the government has said that elements from Pakistan were behind some of these blasts. US investigating agencies have also said that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Harkat ul Jihad-e Islami have been involved in some of the blasts in India. These organisations have been outlawed -- on the basis of evidence.
In the Malegaon investigation, Colonel Shrikant Purohit and Dayanand Pande have been arrested. Purohit is a former Indian Army man. Some people like Purohit and Pande did the networking. In that network (extremist Hindu organisation) Abhinav Bharat, some Hindus and some Muslims maybe there. I don't know who all may be involved. But these people have accepted that they are guilty.
The government didn't complete the investigation of these four people who have been arrested in the Malegaon case. The government did the networking through Pande and Colonel Purohit. Some Hindus who might have been in the RSS at some point of time were caught. The government discontinued the investigation of Purohit and Pande. Instead, the government has taken up new investigation.
That's why I am saying from day one that under a political conspiracy, some investigation agency officers are being misused. With their help, a story is being spun. The moot question is why has government discontinued the investigation of the Malegaon case in which Purohit and Pande are arrested? They are saying we could not find anything more.
They haven't discontinued the investigation. When that investigation was on, they found out about Sunil Joshi.
What I am saying now is that you have made public the confession (of Aseemanand). Let all investigation of all the cases be published. You know what happened to the investigation of the Bofors (howitzer gun deal kickbacks) case and the Arushi (Talwar murder) case. The CBI is captive of the ruling party. They are investigating to help political rivalry. They are not going after the truth.
My first question is, why are they not following up the investigation of the four cases? Why are things being done outside the purview of the investigations? Two, my question is, was somewhere the government itself not doing all these things?
Are the government's agencies doing all these things?
Why would the government do such things? What is their benefit?
The government indulges in lots of businesses. How are these scams happening? I demand the investigation of the government itself! In the first round, the government arrested Muslims and harassed them. Now, they have arrested Hindus and will harass them. The government will divide and rule. One should look if government is into this business.
Today, as per new revelations, new accused are arrested long after many innocents Muslims were arrested. Pakistan is being given a clean chit and the government has even fooled the entire country, and US investigating agencies. How can you say that this government was wrong then and is right today? If you are an advocate of the government, then there is no need to converse with you.
Image: Inset: Indresh Kumar. Onlookers stand near a burnt carriage of Samjhauta Express train.
Photographs: Desmond Boylan / Reuters
'Were all these (blasts) done by the government?'
My contention is that Pragnya knew Sunil Joshi who knew Aseemanand. You knew Aseemanand well. That's how the charge against you cropped up.
I am saying that the network of all these characters has been accepted by the military intelligence's Colonel Purohit. Why has that fact been taken out of the investigation? That's why I am asking, were all these (blasts) done by the government? Is it just because I am acquainted to them they are diverting the case towards me? So far, nobody has said that I am involved in any action. They are known to me, that's the only allegation. Even you know thousands of people. Are you guilty for being known to somebody?
Did you know Aseemanand?
The question is not if I knew him or didn't. You knew him, so are you guilty? You note it down that Sheela Bhatt knew Aseemanand, so she is also a terrorist. Will you write this? Why not? Aseemanand was known to thousands of people.
But four of the accused, Lokesh Sharma, Bharat Riteshwar and two others, have named you.
My name can be mentioned by 40, 400 or 400,000 people. I am asking, who did the networking of all these people? Has it been done by the government? It's very necessary to investigate who Colonel Purohit is. Who is Dayanand Pande? Did these people do the networking in connivance with the government? This aspect must be investigated. You will know the truth when this investigation is done.
Did you share your views on the matter with the CBI?
Some facts have come out and some will come out slowly. I am saying that the needle of suspicion points to the government. Wikileaks have proved it, too. While talking to a foreign diplomat, Rahul Gandhi spoke about it. I believe, under the conspiracy, they would bring the result. Digvijay Singh has also acknowledged that he was in touch with the officers of the investigating agency in Maharashtra. Let this be investigated. How can you investigate what suits you and not investigate what doesn't suit you?
Aseemanand has spoken in front of a magistrate. It cannot be ignored.
This is happening everyday. People give confessions before a magistrate and retract those confessions (in court). Who says that Aseemanand's confession is full and final? Who got it done, this confession? I am asking them to build up the case in the court of law.
Image: The CBI headquarters in New Delhi
'Is the Congress party violent or non-violent?'
What I am saying is that people are trying to prove that acquaintance is enough to prove guilt. You will also do the same job. I want to ask, again and again, who is behind the networking of these boys? Let us make all investigation public. File the charge-sheet. Put up evidence in court, I will respond. If you are leaking the confession like this before going to court, what's your intention? This only means that under your conspiracy you want to damage some people and some institution. Let us go to court.
That day will come, too.
Why make anybody a convict before that?
That has been happening all the time with Muslims.
Precisely. I am also saying same thing. For first few years, this government fooled Hindustan by trapping Muslims. Now, they have woven a new story to fool Hindustan again. It's necessary that the entire country should question the government's investigation. This government is fraud -- it is misusing the investigating agencies.
I have one basic question
You don't have any basic questions. I have basic questions. I have already given you the basic question.
Do you confirm that the RSS doesn't believe in violence?
The RSS school of thought never believed in violence, nor does it believe in it now. I will give you an example. When the charge of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination was levelled against the RSS, we fought the charge with satyagraha (peaceful agitation). When the RSS was banned for two years in 1948-1949, not even one violent incident occurred.
Critics say your ideology contains a strand of violence.
This allegation is politically motivated. I will ask you a direct question. Is the Congress party violent or non-violent?
You are talking about the allegations of the 1984 (anti-Sikh) riots.
Is that allegations or is there truth in it? Who was the mentor of the 1984 violence? Rajiv Gandhi? He gave that statement ('When a big tree falls, the earth is bound to shake'). After that, Congress party leaders indulged in violence. On basis of that logic, is Rajiv Gandhi violent or a Bharat Ratna? What is your opinion?
When your name cropped up
You are asking questions on the basis of what the Congress party government has fed you.
Image: A poster at the Congress conclave in Burari
'I demand the investigation of the investigative agencies'
It's a delectable story. This government told us that they wanted to kill us. Now, this government is saying that we are killing people. The government told us that this group is against me. Now, the government is saying I got work done through them. I am repeating: The government is openly doing fraud and playing politics. It should be investigated. I demand the investigation of the investigative agencies.
There is a belief that when bomb blasts were taking place all over India, some section of radical Hindus got disturbed so they may have carried out blasts to counter Pakistan's attempts in India. It was done to scare them and to send a message.
Who was not disturbed by terrorism in India? Entire Bharat felt (strongly) about it. Were you not disturbed? I am also a citizen of this country. Don't become the tool of the political conspiracy.
Assemanand's confession has legal value. In this country, the rule of law prevails. So why are you dismissing it? Your telephone number was found in Sunil Joshi's diary.
If this country is conducting its affairs on the basis of law, then one confession of Safdar Nagori was prepared, na? Now, under the same law, the investigating agency has prepared a second confession.
This just a logical argument. Even the agency can make a mistake.
Why can't the second confession be a mistake of the agency, then?
Yes. That is an issue related to the credibility of the investigating agency. But that doesn't mean that details of second confession are totally rubbish.Asking questions on the basis of something that is false is a bigger mistake. Let us prove which confession is correct, then ask questions.
Image: People walk past a damaged bicycle lying at a blast site inside a mosque in Malegaon
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe / Reuters
'This case is totally untrue. Totally fabricated'
Not at all. This case is totally untrue. Totally fabricated.
Is it a matter of embarrassment?
It's a shame for those who are doing this, honestly. And, it's a shame for those who are asking me this question. Let us sit on judgment of your history sheet and mine. My patriotism and my social service will be above all those who are asking me these questions. Why should I feel shame?
The common Indian carries the wisdom that it's prudent for Hindus and Muslims to live harmoniously. That it is good for this country. Do you believe in this theory or not?
May I tell you one thing? Give me any other name other than Indreshji who is a symbol of love between Hindus and Muslims in entire India. I am trapped because I was conducting a dialogue with Muslims. Give me one name in the Congress party who is working for Hindu-Muslim unity. This is kaliyug. Patriotic people are facing the dirt and anti-nationals are being protected
You may have to go to jail. Assemanand's confession, Lokesh Sharma's statement and Sunil Joshi's diary mention you.
Bhagat Singh, (Mahatma) Gandhi and (Sardar Vallabhbhai) Patel also went to jail. Were they criminals?
What will happen to this case?
If the government and the investigative agency have guts then let them proceed with the case in court. Let the court remain open for public.
Are Bhagwatji and the RSS with you?
What a crude question! We were one, we are one. No problem!
In the last one year, you are not talking about terror cases; you are only talking about the Congress party's conspiracy. Why is it so?
It's not like that. There is one conspiracy and you want to make me part of it. Who are you to blame my character? Why should I answer? Can you ask anybody anytime that you are a rapist so answer? How will you feel? Even I can write tomorrow that you came to see me to torture me. How will you stop me?
There are so many RSS national executive members. Why are you being targeted?
People say... because I was working for Hindu-Muslim unity. They must have found me a threat for their politics. It's possible that they didn't like that I have worked in Nepal amongst Maoists. In Kashmir, I alienated separatists by conducting dialogue with people. The politics of jealousy has become dangerous. Instead of welcoming my steps, some leaders are opposing it.
Have you met the king of Nepal?
I have told you enough.
Do you believe that no Hindus have done any blasts?
Again? Why are you talking about Hindus and Muslims? I am saying that the fraud of government and crime of investigating agency is before us. When it will be investigated you will find the truth.
Image: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat