The Maharashtra Police thwarted an attempt to attack the RSS headquarters at Nagpur in the early hours of June 1, by gunning down three armed terrorists in an encounter after they tried to force their way into the premises. Disguised as police sub-inspectors, the three terrorists?aged between 20 and 22 years?came in a red-beaconed white Ambassador car. They managed to break the 200-metre security barrier and were trying to head towards the RSS headquarters, when they were spotted and confronted by a team of police officials stationed there. The terrorists, believed to have been affiliated to Lashkar-e-Toiba, fired from their AK-56 rifles at the police officials, who retaliated and killed the trio on the spot. The brief encounter took place between 4 am and 4.15 am 100 metres away from the RSS headquarters located at Mahal in eastern Nagpur, better known as old Nagpur. None of the senior RSS functionaries, including the Sarsanghachalak Shri K.S. Sudarshan, were present at the headquarters, at the time of the incident.
Three AK-56 rifles, 12 hand grenades and a huge quantity of RDX were recovered from the slain terrorists. While their identities have not been established yet, preliminary investigations have revealed that they had come to Nagpur some days back from Patna. Nagpur Police Commissioner S.P.S. Yadav told mediapersons that two police officers were injured in the encounter.
He said the encounter between the terrorists and police officials took place after the former broke the first 200-metre security barrier outside the RSS headquarters. Replying to a question, Yadav confirmed that he had prior information about a possible attack on the RSS headquarters and that his department had prepared for the contingency. The city police sounded a red alert in the wake of the terrorist bid. Police have cordoned off the entire area and launched a search operation for any accomplice hiding in the city, police said. Several lodges, hotels, dharamshalas and other places are being searched and all exit points from the city, including bus stations, railway stations and airport, have also been put on alert, police added. Meanwhile, deputy chief minister R.R. Patil congratulated the police officials who averted an attack on the RSS headquarters and announced a cash award of Rs 10 lakh for them.
Nagpur police bravely fought the terrorists and foiled their plan to blow up the RSS HQ. Barring RSS National Executive member Indreshji (who is here for Tritiy Sangh Shiksha Varga, having the responsibility as Palak of Varg), no RSS leader was present during the incident.
Nobody expected that wee hours of June 1 would bring something different for Nagpurians. That terrorists would make an attempt to attack the RSS HQ was the information with intelligence sources got eight days back. Based on their information security had been increased since then. It had been strictly told to security men to do scrupulous checking of every man in whatever dress he would come. In the wee hours of June 1 at around 4 am, after taking first round of patrolling Mr. Arvind Saraf, PSI, along with his commando colleagues was resting at Badkas Chowk from whereon a lane goes towards RSS HQ. Just then a white Ambassador with a magnetic red beacon attached on its roof passed by. Mr. Saraf obviously observed carefully and he found something wrong in that car, as it wasn'thaving any star either on the front and at the back. So he asked his driver to follow the car. Saraf and his team were in the car which did not have any sign of police or security, so terrorists who were dressed in police uniform did not doubt. Ambassador car took a turn on the road in the area behind RSS HQ. As per increased security, barricades were kept there. So security men there resisted this car. But terrorists did not pay heed to them and after breaking those barricades they drove the vehicle ahead. At that point Saraf warned them but terrorists started firing from their AK-56. In retaliation, police also fired. Before chasing them, Saraf had informed his seniors. During this firing terrorists threw a hand grenade too, fortunately it did not blast. If this hand grenade had blasted it would have damaged the 30 metre area. The firing lasted for 15 minutes. Terrorists fired almost 50 bullets. Half the number of bullets were fired by police. In this firing, two terrorists died on the spot, while one though wounded was alive. Police took him to hospital but on the way he also died. Three policemen including Mr. Saraf were injured. They were wearing bullet-proof jacket. But the force of bullets made them injured. One of the policemen is serious but out of danger. Police has recovered 3 AK-M assault rifles, 13 hand-grenades, nine loaded magazines of cartridges, a sealed box of high explosives, cash of about Rs. 1 lakh, a bag containing some documents, a timer and material for making an improvised explosive device from the car. Hindustan Times, published from Delhi dated May 22 also was found. Police have not disclosed the identity of the militants. But it seems that they may have links with Lashkar-e-Toiba.
According to police these terrorist had been to Patna before arriving here. A shoe recovered from them was purchased at a shop in Patna. The vehicle in which they came had number plate of MH-20B-8979. This number was of a two wheeler registered at Aurangabad. PSIs Arvind Saraf, Rajendra Tiwari and J. A. More and constables Prithviraj Singh, Mithilesh Tripathi, Kuldeep, Vijay and Ganesh took part in the operation. It is believed that attackers were from Pakistan and had come across the border from Jammu & Kashmir. The arms and explosives were brought in the same way and were delivered to them in Nagpur.
Immediately in the evening Mr. Gopinath Munde, senior BJP leader, visited the place. Dr. Vilas Dangre, Chairman, Shri Narkesari Prakashan, Girish Vyas, Mohan Mate, Shrikant Bhartiy, Anil Sole, Dayashankar Tiwari have also visited the place.
RSS Headquarters at Nagpur has been on the hitlist of terrorists since long. It was in the year 2001, that first attempt was made when a bomb was found near the RSS HQ. Fortunately it did not blast. Later it was found that it was a plan of SIMI to blow up RSS HQ. Since then security was beefed up around RSS HQ.
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