Terrorism has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in today’s world, but no matter what we have been told, terror has no color or religion. It is nothing but a baseless and often politically motivated act which seeks to undermine the rule of law and instill fear in the hearts and minds of the general populous. Thus, when the word “Saffron Terror” came into fray most were surprised and justifiably outraged. It was the former finance minister Mr. P Chidambaram who came up with this term in the first place. Since then, this word has been used to malign political opponents and to silence critics of the Congress party.
There have been several alleged cases of such “Saffron Terrorism.” One of these is the 2008 Malegaon Blast case in which Lt. Col Purohit alongside Sadhvi Pragya were prime accused. The context of this case is a bit confusing and long but it’s important to understand the nuances of the case to understand the nature of conspiracy initiated by the then incumbent government.
Right of the bat, the then home Secretary R K Singh (Ironically, the Minister of Power in the current regime) pointed fingers at the alleged right-wing extremism and published a suspect list which consisted members and leaders from RSS, the parental organization of BJP. With just 9 months into the case, the man heading it Mr. Hemant Karkare the then head of the ATS, Mumbai was killed by the terrorists on 26/11. This sudden demise of Mr. Karkare and the released suspect list which reflected a subtle political manipulation made the case extremely political from the get go.
The main blast happened on 29th September, 2008. A bomb concealed in a cycle just opposite of Shakil Goods Transportation Company went off, killing 7 and injuring more than 75 people. After the initial investigation the ATS picked up Purohit, a Retired Army Major, Ramesh Upadhay and Sadhvi Pragya. In the charge-sheet ATS implicated Purohit and Pragya but later when the case was handed over to NIA, in their charge-sheet they acquitted Pragya on the grounds of lack of evidence. This was the first blow in a case which would take much more hits in the coming years. The NIA charge-sheet alleged that Mr. Purohit proposed and propagated the idea of establishing a separate constitution for Hindu Rashtra and he also made plans to replace the current tri-coloured flag with a Bhagwa (saffron) flag and also discussed about setting up a government in exile for Aryawart in Israel and Thailand.
The main allegation came from Lt. Purohit’s involvement in a group called Abhinav Bharat which he registered in 2006. NIA claimed that Purohit threatened to eliminate anyone standing in the way of their group’s ideologies. Purohit was also suspected of diverting army resources such as RDX to the said group, some of which were allegedly used in the bomb blast. Purohit, since the first day of this trial, has maintained that he was working as a Military intelligence officer and trying to infiltrate into the group in question but nobody including the seven intelligence officers that the NIA questioned acknowledged that Lt. Purohit was actually working for the Military intelligence.
Yesterday, a report came out showing proof that Lt. Purohit actually kept his seniors in the loop and was just doing his duty for the nation. The initial investigation saw the then ATS chief Rakesh Maria asking the Director General of Military Intelligence for inputs, letters shared or written by the army regarding meetings and terrorist related incidents in the case involving Lt Col Purohit.
To which the DGMI responded 5 days later which was reportedly incomplete in nature and then there were no subsequent responses from other army offices. This response became the article of faith for the opponents of Lt. Purohit but interestingly when later the DGMI wrote to other offices to provide information regarding Lt. Purohit, The Congress led government stepped in and stopped the whole procedure. In another shocking revelation the army letter states that –
‘Lt Colonel Purohit’s superiors at the appropriate level were informed of the inputs provided by the source.’
The source mentioned in the Army document is none other than Sudhakar Chaturvedi who was also named as one of the main accused of this case. The Congress willfully neglected the fact that Chaturvedi was indeed an active source for the Army. This report also gives out details about how Chaturvedi was keeping an eye on and passing information about the political religious activities in the area. This was 10 months before the arrest of Lt. Purohit and this clearly proves that Chaturvedi was a source for the army and Purohit was just doing his job. The Congress government shamelessly suppressed these facts and propagated the myth of saffron terror. The line in the army report –
“Lt. Col Purohit was operating a source network through which he had obtained intelligence inputs.” clearly exposes the lies told by the Congress to push their political agenda as it contradicts to what Congress said at that time.
This is not just an odd case, there are several other cases too where such outrageous claims were made by the Congress government which later turned out to be false. Ajmer Dargah blast case where the main accused Swami Aseemanand, along with six others, was acquitted by the local court exposes a clear pattern of political manipulation in pushing the false narrative of Saffron terror by the Congress. The scion of the dynasty, Rahul Gandhi, even claimed during an interaction with US ambassador that saffron terror is much more dangerous than Pakistan backed, internationally banned terror organization Lashkar-e-taiba, according to leaked State department diplomatic cables. The myth of saffron terror was pushed hard by the Congress to defame Hindus.
It’s shameful that a government will frame an honest army officer to propagate lies about their political opponents. Such acts are subversive to democracy and put our national security at risk. With this new revelation the Congress has a lot to answer for and it also strengthens the argument that saffron terror is a myth propagated for puny political purposes.