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The Rediff Interview/Social activist Dr Suresh Khairnar

'Don't fight terror on basis of religion'

November 14, 2008

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With the investigations into the Malegaon blast of September grabbing all attention, it seems that the Nanded blast of 2006 (external link) has been forgotten. Looking at various investigation records, the term Hindu terror first came up during investigations into that explosion.

Dr Suresh Khairnar, a social activist, has prepared over 100 fact-finding reports. In fact it was his report on the Nanded blasts (external link) that is helping the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad make some sense out of Hindu terrorism and the Malegaon investigations. Dr Khairnar, who is currently on a countrywide tour to promote peace, spoke with's Vicky Nanjappa from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh [Images].

You had made a noise following the Nanded blasts, but nothing came out of it. What are your thoughts about that?

Yes, I do agree that the final result was not as expected. The Intelligence Bureau and police played a major role in hushing it up. However, I would also like to add that the report prepared by us was submitted to the Mumbai ATS and it was accepted. It has helped them in the Malegaon investigations.

How did the police and the IB hush up matters?

If you notice, there was an attack on the RSS office at Nagpur immediately after the Nanded incident. This attack was stagemanaged to take the heat off the Nanded incident. It was made to look like some Muslims had carried out this attack and the entire attention from the Nanded blast was diverted. From here onwards the entire focus of terror activities in India shifted to Islamic groups while the Nanded incident was forgotten. The entire modus operandi of Hindu radical groups was busted following the Nanded attack, but unfortunately the issue was diverted at that point of time.

How can you say that the Nagpur attack was carried out to divert attention from the Nanded investigation?

When the police had prior information about the possible attack on the RSS headquarters why did they allow the attackers to go close? Why did the police not stop them? Also, we heard from some residents that the police had a kind of rehearsal to the 'encounter' a few days before at the same spot. The police even fired in the air at that time. And when the actual encounter took place, residents said they first thought it was yet another demonstration. Why did the police conduct a demo few days before?

Is Hindu terrorism a new concept? How long according to you has this concept been in force?

No. It is an 80-year-old concept. The RSS was training its swayamsevaks for the past 80 years. However, this was never brought to public notice. The polarisation of the IB, police etc helped them get away scot-free.

If the Nanded blast investigation was hushed up, why this sudden enthusiasm in the Malegaon blast case?

We welcome what the ATS is doing at the moment. However, where the timing of the investigation is concerned I must say it is done out of political compulsions. The Congress is afraid that it will lose Muslim votes and hence the investigation is timed keeping in mind the forthcoming elections.

Like Azamgarh has been made out to be a nursery for Islamic terrorism, which place according to you is the hotbed of Hindu terror -- Nanded or Nagpur?

According to me, it all originated at Ahmednagar, the place where the assassination of the Mahatma Gandhi [Images] was plotted. I am telling you for a fact that all the RDX which was used in these blasts by Hindu activists was sourced in from Ahmedanagar and not Jammu as it is being made out. If you remember, 195 kg of RDX was seized from Ahmednagar -- it was meant to be used in terror operations. However as of now, the Hindu groups sensing the heat have shifted out of there. They are currently planning operations out of Nagpur, which they think is safer.

So is there is no end to terror? What is the solution?

There is a threat of terror, no doubt. But terror has to be fought as a crime and not on the basis of religion. Let us keep religion aside and deal with it as a problem that our country is facing, then this problem can be wiped out to a large extent. Another aspect that needs to be taken care of is these pseudo-nationalists who term themselves as patriotic and do otherwise. I think that if these issues can be sorted out honestly by the police, IB and the judiciary, we can have a more peaceful and safer country.

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