NEW DELHI: With saffron brigade hitting headlines for alleged involvement of several members associated with this right-winged, extremist organization for a series of terrorist incidents, politicians are trying their best to politicize the issue. This trend has picked up greater heat following â€œconfessionsâ€ of Swami Aseemanand about his and his accomplicesâ€™ role in Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts. It may be recalled that earlier Muslims were arrested and external elements blamed for these incidents. Politicians keen on polishing their â€œsecularâ€ image are wasting little time in clarifying their stand against the saffron brigade. Some are also questioning the false charges filed against Muslims.
Asserting that he had blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) earlier too for their role in spreading terrorism, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said: â€œAll my critics should understand that whatever I had said about the involvement of the members of the Sangh Pariwar (saffron brigade) has been proved to be correct.â€ Clarifying that his stand against saffron brigade was not against Hindus and that such an impression had been falsely spread, he said: â€œI am a Hindu and my wife and kids are all Hindus, so it would be wrong to say that I will ever be against Hindus.â€
The Left bloc is using the opportunity to attack the saffron brigade for the terrorist incidents and the government for having earlier blamed Muslims for these. Swami Aseemanandâ€™s â€œconfession,â€ according to Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Brinda Karat, has â€œexposed the diabolical roleâ€ of â€œHindutvaâ€ groups in these terrorist operations. Karat has addressed a letter to Home Minister P. Chidambaram regarding this. She pointed out: â€œThe earlier investigations, the public statements of agencies wrongly accusing the Muslim youth of the bomb blasts, their torture and incarceration have brought no credit to the investigations or for that matter to the government which appeared to have gone along with the speculative theories floated by the investigating agencies.â€ Demanding justice and compensation for those who were falsely accused, Karat said: â€œAt least now justice must be done to those falsely accused. Those still in jail should be released without any delay in these specific cases. The central government must also give them compensation and ensure their rehabilitation.â€
The central government is considering measures to help Muslims who were â€œarrested wronglyâ€ in terrorist attacks, which the members linked with saffron brigade are strongly suspected to be responsible for. â€œThe Government of India will do whatever possible for rehabilitation of the (Muslim) youth and for the relief of their families,â€ a source said. A proposal to provide financial, legal and other help to the Muslim youths, who were earlier held for long periods as â€œterroristsâ€ but were later found innocent, is being considered.
Meanwhile, Swami Aseemanandâ€™s confession has provided substantial ground to Indian Muslims to express their stand against saffron brigade and demand just treatment of Muslims still held as â€œterroristsâ€ without any evidence against them. Several Muslim organizations gathered at Mumbaiâ€™s Azad Maidan (January 20) to voice their demands. Describing RSS and Abhinav Bharat as â€œfascist organizations,â€ they demanded a ban on them. â€œThese organizations are the root cause of hatred and enmity between people in the nation,â€ they said in a press release. They also demanded â€œunconditional release of Muslim youths who are still behind barsâ€ in connection with the Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif and Samjhauta Express blasts, and â€œimpartial investigationâ€ into the murder of Sunil Joshi, RSS pracharak. Joshi was suspected to be working for Swami Aseemanand.
Blaming investigating agencies for having deliberately arrested Muslims, without any evidence against them, Maulana Azhari of Malegaon said: â€œIf there is a blast in a mosque and Muslims are killed, even a common man will tell you that it cannot be the job of a Muslim. Investigating agencies have deliberately twisted investigations and trapped Muslim youths. Strict inquiry and action is needed against the RSS and erring investigators. A blast is a blot on the nation.â€
Soon after Swami Aseemanandâ€™s confession about his involvement in Malegaon blast, the nine accused for the same applied for bail. Advocate Khalid Azmi moved their bail applications before the special Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, which are expected to be heard on January 28. Elaborating on this, Azmi said: â€œAseemanandâ€™s confession was the main ground for seeking bail. The application also refers to the reply filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Bombay High Court that they had no direct evidence (against the accused).â€ Besides, Azmi referred to Swami Aseemanand making confession after arrest of Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur and Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit in Malegaon 2008 blast. â€œThis clearly shows that these nine accused are innocent and that they have been framed. Therefore, I filed the bail plea,â€ Azmi said. The nine Muslims, whose bail pleas have been filed by Azmi, are: Salman Farsi, Shabir Ahmed, Noorulhuda Doha, Rais Ahmed, Mohammed Ali, Asif Khan, Javed Sheikh, Farooque Ansari and Abrar Ahmed.
While politicians are trying their best to use Swami Aseemanandâ€™s confession for justifying their stand against saffron brigade, the Muslim organizations have become more assertive and vocal on protesting against their being falsely linked with terrorist incidents. It is to be watched whether the erring authorities are punished, the wrongly held Muslims are released and given compensation as well as what action is taken against extremist organizations with which â€œterroristsâ€ like Swami Aseemanand are linked!