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RSS under the scanner for links to Hindu terrorists

Jul 14, 2010 09:17 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: Details of the interrogation of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activists Ashok Berry and Ashok Varshney indicate that they knew Devender Gupta, the main accused in Mecca Masjid blast case.

CNN-IBN has access to the interrogation report of the two senior RSS activists from UP, who were under intelligence scanner, linking them to the prime accused.

However, the man who could turn out to be the biggest source of embarrassment for the RSS is one of its senior most functionaries – Indresh Kumar or Indreshji, who is allegedly linked to terror suspects. It is also learnt that as many as 12 Sangh activists in Indore are currently under intelligence scanner for their suspected of involvement in blasts in Mecca Masjid and Ajmer. This group was well known to Indresh.

The revelation has put the organisation on the back-foot, compelling it to convene an emergency meeting of its top brass last week.

After the meeting, RSS spokesman Ram Madhav assured the Sangh would cooperate with the probe.

"We are willing to support any kind of probe, but there shouldn't be any witch-hunt," Ram Madhav said.

Indresh Kumar is one of the senior most activists of the RSS and is believed to be known to Ashok Varshney and Ashok Berry. Varshney and Berry are accused of providing logistical support to Devender Gupta, who has already been arrested for his alleged involvement in Mecca Masjid blast. On May 18, 2007 a bomb blast inside the Mecca Masjid, which is located in the old city area of Hyderabad, had killed 9 people.

Varshney, Berry and Devendra Gupta were interrogated by investigating agencies in Hyderabad between 21st and 25th of June this year.

During interrogation, the trio not only acknowledged that they knew each other but also revealed that they had met individually at Kanpur, Ayodhya and Faizabad. However, Varshney and Berry denied their role in the conspiracy.

Unanswered questions

Although, officially, the CBI continues to maintain that no interrogation of any of the RSS activist has taken place, documents available with CNN-IBN still raises several questions with regard to the manner in which the accused were interrogated.

Firstly, it why were RSS activists, Varshney and Berry questioned in the presence of the blast accused Devender Gupta?

Did they have knowledge of Gupta's alleged links when they provided him with logistical support, including SIM cards and lodging arrangements?

Are the activists in Indore, who are under the intelligence scanner, linked to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, the key accused in the Malegaon blasts?

If the RSS has nothing to fear, why were high level meetings held on the issue in Delhi and Rajasthan?

The RSS fears that the centre could use the instances of alleged Hindu terror to discredit its activists. But those fears cannot mask the grim reality that, on the ground, some of its members may have got mixed up with terror modules. Now, how the Sangh deals with such individuals could be a test case for the organisation.