Ajmer Dargah bombing
|Ajmer Sharif Dargah bombing|
Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti, the site of the attack.
|Location||Ajmer, Rajasthan, India|
|Date||11 October 2007 |
18:12 IST (UTC+5.30)
|Target||Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti|
|Bomb in a Tiffin carrier|
The Ajmer Dargah bombing (also called the Ajmer Sharif blast) occurred on 11 October 2007, in the courtyard of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India, after the Iftar period had started.On March 22, 2017 the Special NIA Court awarded life imprisonments to Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel.
At 6.12 pm on 11 October 2007, an explosion occurred near a courtyard outside of the Dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer. 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. The bomb had been concealed in a Tiffin carrier, which workers typically used to store their lunch. The blast killed 2 people and injured 17. Remnants of a mobile phone were retrieved from the site. Lalit Maheswari of the Ajmer police stated, "We have recovered some mobile instruments, so we think some sophisticated device was used ...".
The explosion was suspected to have been the responsibility of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. The media characterised the attack as part of the conflict between ultra-conservative Islamic extremists against the Sufi-derived Islamic traditions popular in India.
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. Four of the five suspects were connected to the Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
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 organisations, such as Abhinav Bharat, may have actually been behind the blast though no evidence have been found till date. The attack allegedly included two Muslim boys from the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan. 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.
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.
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. 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. The court has imposed Rs. 1 lakh each on the convicts and on March 21, the special court awarded life imprisonments to both Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel.
- 2006 Malegaon blasts
- 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings
- 2008 Malegoan & Modasa bombing
- List of terrorist incidents, 2007
- Saffron Terror
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- Asthana, N. C.; Nirmal, A. (2009). Urban Terrorism : Myths And Realities. Jaipur: Pointer. p. 188. ISBN 978-81-7132-598-6. OCLC 435375838.
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