Abhinav Bharat is an ultra right wing Hindu extremist organization of pre-Independence era that was revived in Pune, Maharastra in 2006 and now has a large base in Madhya Pradesh. The activities of the organisations came into sharp focus after Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested its member in relation to Malegaon blast case.
It has no relation to another charitable trust with the same name which has requested the Bombay High Court to direct the state charity commissioner to get the Pune-based trust of the same name 'Abhinav Bharat', which figured in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, to change its name.
Abhinav Bharat as a reiteration of Savarkar's original and defunct Hindu nationalist organization was created in 2007. There is no connection of any kind between the two organizations.The niece of Nathuram Godse, married to Veer Savarkar's nephew, is the president of the Abhinav Bharat.
Investigation by Anti-Terrorism Squad claim that the organisation was modeled after freedom fighter Savarkar's revolutionary outfit Abhinav Bharat he started in 1905 to start an armed struggle against the British. He dissolved it in 1952 saying there was no need for armed struggle in Independent India and called upon the youth to join the Indian army. A group of intellectuals revived Abhinav Bharat around 2006 and carried out several program for creating awareness on present day social problems such as terrorism. But later, hardliners in the organisation having an army background took over as they felt the government was not firm in handling Islamic terror. Following investigation and arrest of its members, their website was mysteriously shut down.
Relationship with Sangh Parivar groups
Sangh Parivar representatives have distanced themselves from Abhinav Bharat. Dr. Praveen Togadia, head of the VHP, fears that Abhinav Bharat is weaning away radicals from the VHP, from where much of the Abhinav Bharat membership originates. Among these included Sameer Kulkarni, the points-man for Abhinav Bharat in Madhya Pradesh, who was expelled from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in June 2008 for not following protocol within the organization. Abhinav Bharat has also been accused of plotting to kill senior RSS leaders including RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat who they thought weren't doing enough for Hindutva.
A journal, The Caravan, has claimed to have conducted interview of Swami Aseemanand in which he purportedly named RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in relation to 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, Ajmer Dargah attack and Mecca Masjid bombing. Swami Aseemanand calls the magazine article fabricated and has threatened to launch legal action against a Caravan journalist. National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the case against Aseemanand, said he never named any RSS leader during questioning. The RSS, too, has rubbished the allegations. The Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde seems to believe the report.
Allegations of involvement in terrorist activity
Following the arrest and investigation of Abhinav Bharat members Swami Aseemanand, Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan, Sunil Joshi and Rajendra Choudhary in connection with the Malegaon terrorist bombings, the organization has been investigated for its alleged role in 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, Malegaon blasts, Mecca Masjid bombing and Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast. Anti-Terrorism Squad Investigations have revealed that serving and retired army officers associated with Abhinav Bharat hijacked the organisation and motivated the youth to take up armed struggle against Islamic terrorism. Swapan Dasgupta notes that the group seemed little more "than a letterhead or part of a fantasy world".
Praveen Mutalik who was arrested for his alleged role in the 2008 Malegaon blasts is alleged to have received more than Rs 3 lakhs from Prasad Shrikant Purohit, founder of the Abhinav Bharat. Anti Terrorist Squad (India) has alleged that Ajay Rahirkar the treasurer of Abhinav Bharat received 10 lakh rupees from various Hawala sources.
- 2006 Malegaon blasts
- 2007 Mecca Masjid bombing
- 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings
- 2008 Malegaon & Modasa bombing
- Saffron Terror
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