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Mohan Bhagwat: The mastermind, or the target?

Last updated on: February 07, 2014 14:44 IST

Mohan Bhagwat: The mastermind, or the target?

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Vicky Nanjappa

The men targetting Mohan Bhagwat were convinced he was the wrong choice to head the RSS, an NIA agent told Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa.

Did Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat give his assent to three major terror attacks in 2007, as terror accused Swami Aseemanand claimed to Caravan magazine?

Or was he, in fact, on the hit-list of the Hindu terror brigade?

In shocking revelations to Caravan magazine, Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the blasts on the Samjhauta Express (February 2007), at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid (May 2007) and the Ajmer Dargah (October 2007), alleged that Bhagwat had 'sanctioned' the attacks.

On Friday, the swami denied granting the interview to the magazine.

National Investigation Agency agents tell Rediff.com that Aseemanand, who often retracts his statements, did not admit to Bhagwat's role in the blasts when he was interrogated by the NIA.

The NIA ironically had investigated a plot to assassinate Bhagwat by Sunil Joshi, who murdered in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, on December 29, 2007, and his accomplices.

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Image: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat.


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Mohan Bhagwat: The mastermind, or the target?

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Vicky Nanjappa

The plot to kill Mohan Bhagwat was first revealed by Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad.

Investigations revealed that Sunil Joshi, who has been named as the mastermind of the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and Ajmer blasts, was not pleased with the way the RSS functioned.

After the NIA took over the probe, they suspected that the accused in the saffron terror cases had hatched a plan against Bhagwat after he did not offer them any support.

Apart from Sunil Joshi, the names of S Apte, Major Ramesh Upadhyay and Dayanand Pandey cropped up during the investigation.

Apte allegedly roped in Lieutenant Colonel Srikant Purohit and paid him Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) for this operation, NIA agents told Rediff.com

The conspirators believed they were espousing the cause of Hindus since the RSS's top leadership was not supportive of their murderous intentions.

The conspirators felt the RSS leaders had not come to their rescue when they were cornered by the investigating agencies, NIA officials said.

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Image: RSS activists at a training camp in Bhopal.
Photographs: Raj Patidar/Reuters

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Mohan Bhagwat: The mastermind, or the target?

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Vicky Nanjappa

The men targetting Mohan Bhagwat were convinced he was the wrong choice to head the RSS, an NIA agent told Rediff.com

The NIA is scrutinising statements given by the accused on the plot to target Bhagwat.

An accused in the Malegaon blasts case, Samir Kulkarni, told the Bombay high court that this angle must be investigated since a witness in the case -- Nitin Joshi -- had claimed there was a plot to kill Bhagwat.

Sources told Rediff.com that Sunil Joshi, who felt most betrayed by the RSS leadership, had made up his mind to surrender to the police, but he was stopped by his accomplices Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalasanghra.

Joshi was found dead in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, a few days later.

NIA agents believe Joshi was murdered because his accomplices feared he was about to spill the beans to the police.


Image: Terror accused were allegedly angry with RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat.
Photographs: Reuters

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