Congress conspiracy boomerangs
Conflicting reports about the findings of the Army Court of Inquiry against Lt Col Srikant Prasad Purohit has made the confusion more confounded over the involvement of the Military Intelligence (MI) in the activities of Hindu outfits. National Investigation Agency (NIA) claims that the army court has rejected the suspended MI operator’s contention that his association with Abhivan Bharat, allegedly involved in terror attacks in several parts of the country, was part of his official assignment to penetrate Hindu groups. The version given out by a section of media, probably briefed by his family and friends, is completely at odds with the official version. It insists that the court was convinced by the evidence produced by Purohit and his former colleagues in MI that he had indeed kept his superiors informed about his contacts in Abhinav Bharat and that he had after the Malegaon blast informed his bosses about the involvement of Sadhvi Pragya in the terror attack. During his deposition in the army court, the MI operative is said to have also maintained that Sudhakar Chaturvedi, the prime accused in the Malegaon case, was his “informer”.
The NIA rejects these contention and claims that the jailed officer had taken this step to cover his tracks after Maharashatra ATS identified Sadhvi as a suspect in Malegaon case. The agency insists that the jailed army officer was aware that he would be exposed the moment Sadhvi was apprehended and questioned. It also claims that the Court of Inquiry had found the “disgraced officer” guilty of flouting service rules by attending secret meetings of Hindu group at Faridabad, Kolkata and Indore besides several other undesirable activities. The agency claims that Purohit had blown his cover by disclosing his real identity to Swami Aseemanand, another accused in the case. NIA says it has in its possession a taped conversation in which the Swami is heard identifying Purohit as an MI operator and requesting him to find out who had killed Anil Joshi, an activist of Abhinav Bharat wanted in terror-related cases. Interestingly, these claims and counter claims are being made though the Court of Inquiry has not yet made its report public and even the NIA is yet to receive its copy.
Military Intelligence’s position on Purohit is understandable as no intelligence agency anywhere in the world owns its operators once they are exposed. Even if Purohit was mandated to penetrate radical Hindu group, the MI is not expected to own him up after he is accused of involvement in terrorism as it would hurt the agency’s credibility and future plans. Incidentally, that is why the RAW has flatly refused to accept the contention of Surjeet Singh, who was recently released from Pakistani jail long years after completing his life term, that he was a RAW operative in Pakistan when he was apprehended. Singh has threatened to drag RAW to court to get service benefits.
These developments raise intriguing questions. Is Col Purohit, an operative of the Military Intelligence, an extremist who driven by rage at the jehadi attacks on Hindus and their religious places motivated radical elements in the Hindu outfit to take revenge on Muslims? Or did the jailed officer performed his mandated duty to penetrate Hindu outfit but failed to control action of radical elements in the tiny outfit and was, therefore, disowned by the MI? Or was it a politically motivated covert operation of the Congress party’s ‘Dirty Trick Department’ in which MI got entangled? Keeping in mind the Congress party’s track record, one wouldn’t be surprised if the answer to the third question is in the affirmative. On the face of it, the aim appears to be to float canards about non-existent “saffron terror” and wrongly implicating some RSS activists in terror-related incidents to malign and marginalise the RSS and consequently put the BJP on the back foot that has launched an offensive against the Congress-led Government for its failure to wage a war on jehadi terror because of vote-bank compulsions. Congress leadership since the dawn of Independence has been hostile to the RSS—the Hindu nationalist organisation that is selflessly serving the nation since its inception in 1925 – and never let go even half an opportunity to defame the Sangh. Nehru had once thundered in a public meeting that he would bury RSS deep in the land so that it could never emerge. His crushing mentality was behind the first ban on the RSS in the wake of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination though the Prime Minister knew fully well that the RSS had nothing to do with the murder. Interestingly, despite Government’s worst efforts not a single RSS person could be prosecuted in the Gandhi murder case. Courts of Enquiries subsequently set up by Congress Governments gave a clean chit to the Sangh. It was again a Congress Government that imposed a ban on the RSS after the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya but failed to justify its action in the legal battle that followed.
The dubious conduct of the Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh has left no one in doubt that the party and its bosses are behind the vicious propaganda to malign the RSS. He is the one who floated the canard about 26/11 not a Pakistan-sponsored jehadi attack on Mumbai but a handiwork of “saffron terror” while releasing a book on the subject written by Aziz Burney, then editor of Roznama Rashtriya Sahara. Burney was later forced to apologise for his anti-national thesis is another story. The Congress leader was behind yet another canard that Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare was not killed by Pakistani terrorist but by persons belonging to the “saffron terror” to silence him as he was likely to expose the RSS’ involvement in terror-related incidents. Not many know that Karkare had sought an appointment with a senior RSS leader to personally convey to him intelligence inputs about grave threat to the top Sangh leadership from jehadi terrorists. In the course of the conversation, SIT Chief is believed to have mentioned that he was under “tremendous pressure” from above to implicate the Sangh in terror-related cases though he had no evidence to that effect.
It is a matter of record that the Congress party never made any serious attempt to prevent Digvijay Singh from making ludicrous and controversial statements against the RSS. Is it because he is perceived to be the unofficial voice of 10 Janpath and is a close confidant of Sonia Gandhi and dynasty’s heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi? Since all of his wild allegations have been falsified by subsequent enquires and revelations, it is for the Congress party bosses to come clean on the issue. Terror is an extremely sensitive issue and involves the security of the country and social harmony. Do the Congress bosses realise that Digvijay Singh’s despicable utterances are compromising the nation’s fight against terror?