Ajmer Dargah bombing

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Ajmer Sharif Dargah bombing
Dargah of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti Ajmer India (5).JPG
Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti, the site of the attack.
Ajmer Sharif is located in Rajasthan
Ajmer Sharif
Ajmer Sharif
Ajmer Sharif (Rajasthan)
Location Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
26°27′25″N 74°37′40″E / 26.45694°N 74.62778°E / 26.45694; 74.62778
Date 11 October 2007
18:12 IST (UTC+5.30)
Target Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti[1]
Attack type
Bomb in a Tiffin carrier[2]
Deaths 3[3]
Non-fatal injuries
17[2]
Suspected perpetrators
Abhinav Bharat,[3]

The Ajmer Dargah bombing (also called the Ajmer Sharif blast) occurred on 11 October 2007, outside the Dargah (shrine) of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India, after the Iftar period had started.[4] Investigations initially circled around the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, based in Pakistan,[2] and later focussed on the alleged involvement of Hindutva organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its groups behind the blast.[5][6] On March 22, 2017 the Special NIA Court awarded life imprisonments to Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel, ex-RSS leaders.[7][8]

Attack[edit]

At 6.12 pm on 11 October 2007, an explosion occurred near a courtyard outside of the Dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer.[9] Evening prayers had just concluded before the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and a crowd had gathered outside the shrine to end their fast.[1] The bomb had been concealed in a Tiffin carrier, which workers typically used to store their lunch.[2] The blast killed three people and injured 17.[3][10] Remnants of a mobile phone were retrieved from the site.[9] Lalit Maheswari of the Ajmer police stated, "We have recovered some mobile instruments, so we think some sophisticated device was used ..."[1]

Investigations[edit]

The blast was suspected to be done by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.[2] The media characterised the attack as part of the conflict between ultra-conservative Islamic extremists against the Sufi-derived Islamic traditions popular in India.[9]

On 22 October 2010, five suspects, who had been arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad of India, were charged with conspiracy in connection to the bombing.[citation needed] Four of the five suspects were alleged to be connected to the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.[11]

According to sources, Patel was part of the five-member group that planted the bomb at Ajmer Dargah. While two planters 'Harshad Solanki and Mukesh Vasani' have already been charge sheeted, Patel was part of a back-up team, including Suresh Nair and Mehul alias Mafat Bhai, which went to the site as a contingency plan to take charge of the affairs in case the two planters failed to place the bomb or developed cold feet.

On 10 October 2007, Suresh Nair, Mehul and Bhavesh Patel took a consignment of explosives from Sunil Joshi, who was later found murdered under mysterious circumstances in Godhra. They reached Vadodara n the same day and boarded a private bus for Udaipur. At Ajmer, however, the bomb was given to Solanki and Vasani planted it. Patel was also accused of having been involved in the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, but was acquitted by the court.

NIA has also filed another charge sheet against Swami Aseemanand, whose confession helped the agency open Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid blast and Malegaon 2006 blast cases, along with Sandeep Dangae, Bhawesh Patel, Mehul, Suresh Bhai, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sunil Joshi and Bharat Bhai. Government investigations concluded that Hindutva outfits, such as Abhinav Bharat, may have actually been behind the blast though no evidence have been found till date.[5] The attack allegedly included two Muslim boys from the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan.[5] Aseemanand was also accused in the plan, which was allegedly conceived to avenge Islamic attacks on Hindu temples though later on the statement were found to be politically motivated and tarnished by UPA government in power by Supreme Court of India.[12] Aseemanand said that the attack was intended to avenge the attacks on Hindu shrines by Jihadi groups funded by Indian Muslim.[1][10]

Other individuals accused in the attack is Bharat Bhai alias Bharat Rateshwar, who is alleged to have financed the Hindutva terrorist attacks at Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts. He has been alleged to have funding and planning terrorist attacks on Muslim to avenge the alleged attacks on Hindus in India.[13]

Conviction[edit]

On 8 March 2017, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Jaipur convicted Sunil Joshi (who has since died), Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel- associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for Ajmer Dargah blasts.[14][15] A total of 13 people were accused in the case. Three were still on the run. Swami Aseemanand and 6 other were acquitted in the case.[16][17] The court has imposed Rs. 1lakh each on the convicts and on March 21, the special court awarded life imprisonments to both Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel. [18][1][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Bomb kills two at Ajmer Sharif dargah". Reuters. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Blast at Ajmer Dargah, 2 dead". Daily News and Analysis. India. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Koppikar, Smruti; Dasgupta, Debarshi; Hasan, Snigdha (19 July 2010). "The Mirror Explodes". Outlook. India. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "What is the Ajmer Dargah blast case?". 
  5. ^ a b c Mohan, Vishwa (9 January 2011). "Co-conspirators saw RSS man as ISI mole". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Aseemanand links Mohan Bhagwat to terror attacks
  7. ^ "Ajmer blast case: Two 'RSS pracharaks' sentenced life imprisonment". 
  8. ^ "India jails Hindu radicals for life over Ajmer Sharif shrine blast". 
  9. ^ a b c Asthana; Nirmal (2009). Urban Terrorism. p. 188. 
  10. ^ a b Buncombe, Andrew (12 January 2011). "Hindu holy man reveals truth of terror attacks blamed on Muslims". The Independent. London. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Four of five Ajmer blast accused have RSS links: ATS". The Indian Express. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Sharma, Nitesh Kumar (9 January 2011). "ATS to summon Indresh after Aseemanand's statement". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  13. ^ http://news.oneindia.in/2011/02/06/a-link-in-ajmer-mecca-masjid-samjhauta-blast-aid0101.html
  14. ^ "2007 Ajmer blast: Aseemanand and others acquitted, 3 convicted, by NIA court". 
  15. ^ "2007 Ajmer blast case: Swami Aseemanand acquitted, three people convicted". 
  16. ^ "Swami Aseemanand acquitted in Ajmer blast case as NIA convicts three". 
  17. ^ "Indian court makes rare conviction against Hindu radicals over 2007 Ajmer shrine attack". 
  18. ^ "2007 Ajmer Dargah blasts case: Life imprisonment to two convicts". NewsBytes. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  19. ^ News, TA. "Ajmer Blast: Former RSS Pracharak Sunil Joshi and two others convicted - Truth Arrived". www.trutharrived.com. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]