“RSS carried out multiple explosions across India to blame Muslims and polarise Hindu votes”

Shinde makes shocking revelations in a sworn affidavit filed in Nanded district and sessions court

By Abdul Bari Masoud

Former RSS activist Yashwant Shinde made astounding allegations against the parent organisation of the current ruling party at the centre that it was allegedly involved in terror activities.

Whistle-blower Shinde claimed in an affidavit filed in a Nanded court in Maharashtra that the RSS had carried out numerous explosions throughout India to blame Muslims for them and polarise Hindu voters in favour of its political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The confessional declaration made before a magistrate a few years ago by another former RSS activist Swami Aseemanand is corroborated by Shinde’s testimony. Aseemanand, a self-proclaimed monk, also repeated these allegations during an interview with the Caravan magazine’s Leena Gita Reghunath. Aseemanand told her “that his terrorist acts were sanctioned by the highest levels of the RSS – all the way up to Mohan Bhagwat.”

The affidavit was filed on August 29, 2022, in the district and sessions court in Nanded in Maharashtra.  Shinde claimed that he had worked for the Bajrang Dal, the VHP, and the RSS. He said that while taking bomb-making and weapons training sessions, he met persons who were eventually arrested for bombings.

According to the affidavit, Shinde joined the RSS when he was 18 years old, in 1990. After learning that Hindus were being slain in the state, he travelled to Jammu in 1994, where he was hired as the “vistarak” (an RSS position) for Rajauri and Jawaharnagar by veteran RSS member Indresh Kumar. Shinde was arrested in 1995 after allegedly striking Farooq Abdullah, although he was later released on bail. In 1998, he was found not guilty.

Shinde completed his primary and secondary training in bomb-making through the RSS before being chosen to serve as a “pracharak” in the Udhampur region of Jammu & Kashmir. In 1999, he returned to Mumbai and was appointed Bajrang Dal’s leader. He also worked with ABVP’s violent student branch, Garjana.

“Indresh ordered him to find some lads with a fighting mentality and transport them to Jammu so they could receive modern weaponry training,” the affidavit claims.

Boys were chosen at a VHP meeting held at the state level in Thane, Maharashtra when candidates were introduced to Himanshu Panse, a VHP leader who later died while making bombs in Nanded. Shinde drove Himanshu and the other seven people to Jammu, where they received military training.

The affidavit mentions a training facility for making bombs as saying: “These two persons (close associates of a VHP leader Milind Parande) informed the applicant that a training camp in bomb-making was going to be organised shortly and thereafter, there was a plan to cause bomb blasts throughout the country. They put forth the proposal that he should take responsibility for carrying out maximum blasts in various parts of the country. He was shocked but did not show it on his face and asked them in a lighter vein whether it was a preparation for 2004 Lok Sabha elections. They did not answer.”

The affidavit states that Rakesh Dhawade used to bring a man by the name of “Mithun Chakravarty” for bomb-making lessons. Later, he discovered that Mithun Chakravarty’s real name was Ravi Dev.

In the Malegaon 2008 bomb case, the affidavit claims that Dhawade was later arrested.

“After the training, the organisers took the trainees in a vehicle to a secluded forest area for testing the bombs by carrying out rehearsal of blasts. The trainees would dig a small pit, put the bomb with timer in it, cover it with soil & big boulders and detonate the bomb. Their tests were successful,” the testimony says.

Numerous individuals, including Tapan Ghosh from Bengal and Pramod Mutalik of the Ram Sene in Karnataka, are mentioned by the ex-RSS activist as having been involved in the alleged plot. Because he wasn’t in favour of violence, according to Shinde, he allegedly destroyed the blast plans at various locations.

The sworn affidavit continues that major figures like Milind Parande disappeared after the Congress won the general election in 2004.

“By remaining underground, they carried out many blasts across the country and with the help of biased police and one-sided media, blamed them on Muslims. That helped them in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections,” it states.

It added: “The applicant has a firm belief that Hindu religion is a very noble religion. Hindus, in general, are not of terrorist tendencies but some Hindu organisations like the RSS, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal are definitely engaged in terrorist activities for the political gain of the BJP.”

On social media, a video of Shinde making such claims is also trending.

Whistle blower Shinde also gave more details about the alleged terrorist operations carried out by the RSS while speaking with the exclusive US Congressional Briefing. The online briefing was organised by a US-based coalition of human rights organisations on September 7.

In 2003, the year before India’s general elections in 2004, according to Shinde, Milind Parande had emerged as the key RSS official in charge of planning the bombs.

“Parande had taken a contract from the BJP to carry out the bombings. He was keen to involve me in this planning to carry out bombings across India as I have deep connections and networks across the country. Had I agreed, there would have been hundreds of bombings across India.”

More bomb-making workshops were held across the country. As a result, according to Shinde, bombings occurred in the cities of Hyderabad in the Telangana state, Malegaon in Maharashtra, and aboard the “Samjhauta Express,” a train that travelled between India and Pakistan around that time.

“The masterminds of these bombings were Milind Parande and others from the RSS and BJP. But the investigative agencies never arrested them; they only arrested the foot soldiers. Had they arrested the masterminds and the big officials of the RSS and VHP who were coordinating and leading these bombings, the truth would have come out.”

Bombings were also planned for Aurangabad in Maharashtra, but they were thwarted when Panse died unexpectedly while assembling bombs in Nanded on April 6, 2006.

The plot was a conspiracy to provide the BJP with election success, Shinde claimed. “I met Panse several times and I tried explaining to him not to join this plan,” he added.

Shinde further stated that he took part in a bomb-making workshop held by the RSS in Pune. He disclosed that Rakesh Dhawade, who was later named as a main suspect in a bombing that took place in Malegaon in 2008, served as the workshop’s host. 

“People like Sadhvi Pragya (Bhopal MP) from the BJP, and Rakesh Dhawade were all involved in these bombings,” Shinde claimed.

During the tenure of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from 2004-2014, some suspects were arrested but later all of them came out of jails either on bail or acquitted.

“After 2014 [when Narendra Modi became Prime Minister], these people came back and got back to the same task of bomb-making,” Shinde alleged.

Sangameshwar Delmade, the counsel who represents Shinde in the Nanded court, told a website that he was originally sceptical about the timing of Shinde’s disclosure. “In reality, I had asked him this question. He informed me that he had been under threat of death the entire time. And at this point, his conscience prevents him from remaining silent, the lawyer claimed.”

When Swami Aseemanand recorded his confessional testimony in front of a magistrate during the previous UPA government, the anti- terror agencies took no action to apprehend the masterminds of the terror network. Then, an official of an investigating agency expressed his astonishment at the agencies’ inaction. In stark contrast, these agencies have arrested scores of Muslim youths on the slightest suspicion of terror. 

However, Shinde’s shocking revelation was mostly overlooked by the corporate-controlled media for obvious reasons.

Similarly, a few political parties from the opposition ranks took notice of Shinde’s testimony. Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera tweeted the affidavit.

Khera said in his tweet: “Excerpts of the affidavit filed by Yashwant Shinde, RSS Pracharak. In this affidavit he exposes the organisation. From bomb making to creating unrest, here’s the RSS for you”

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Although Khera’s post was retweeted by a large number of individuals on social media, neither RSS nor BJP has come forward to comment.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and Congress MP Digvijaya Singh made a scathing attack on the ruling party. In his comment, senior Congress leader said: “Yashwant Shinde has shown exemplary courage in filing the affidavit. Those named in the affidavit by Shinde are men of criminal tendency. There can be a threat to Shinde’s life. The Mumbai police commissioner should arrange for his security.”

Singh was defeated in the 2014 general election by the terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur.   

In the early 2000s, the blast cases in Maharashtra bomb brought Hindutva ultras involvement in terror network to the fore. The following explosions in Hyderabad’s Makka Masjid in 2007, Ajmer Sharif Dargah in 2007, and Malegaon in 2008 were also allegedly carried out by them.  P. Chidambaram, who was then Union Home Minister, is famous for calling the terrorist actions of extreme Hindutva organisations “saffron terror” in 2010.

While B J Kolse Patil, a former judge of the Bombay High Court, publicly stated that “RSS men were responsible for all terrorist acts.” Videos of Justice Patil’s remarks are accessible on YouTube.

Meanwhile, Shinde’s counsel Delmade said the court has summoned both the public prosecutor (CBI lawyer) and the accused and has asked for their reply by September 22.

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