In an affidavit before a Nanded court, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker has alleged that Hindu right-wing groups such as RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal are engaged in terrorist activities for BJP’s political gain. Yashvant Shinde, a 49-year-old Mumbai resident, has sought that a VHP leader and another person, who is also an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, be made accused in the Nanded blast case.
The Nanded blast took place on the intervening night of April 4 and April 5, 2006, allegedly at the home of an RSS activist, injuring two youths associated with Bajrang Dal.
The men were allegedly assembling a bomb to target a mosque in Aurangabad. The trial of the case is underway before the Nanded court.
Shinde has also sought that he be made a witness as he is privy to the conspiracy when it was allegedly mooted in Khetwadi in South Mumbai in 2003.
He has said in his affidavit that he was associated with these right-wing groups since the 1990s when he was 18 years old. He has claimed that he received a message in July 2003, asking him to attend an important meeting in Khetwadi. At the meeting, two persons informed him that a training camp to make explosives will be organised as there was a plan to execute bomb blasts across the country.
He said he didn’t approve of the plan but pretended to be part of the conspiracy to know the persons involved. The affidavit further stated that the training was being given allegedly by Bajrang Dal activist Ravi Dev, who went by the name ‘Mithun Chakravarthy’. Shinde said that the participants were taken to isolated forest areas to detonate the bombs made during the training. He alleged that the VHP leader would bring Chakravarthy to the camp and was also in-charge of accommodation and other arrangements.
He claimed the leader was the main conspirator who went underground (but didn’t discontinue his activities) after the plan did not succeed due to Shinde influencing his contacts. Shinde said, “By remaining underground, they carried out many bomb blasts across the country, and (with the help of the biased police and one-sided media) blamed them on Muslims. That helped them in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.”
He said his concerns on misuse of RSS and VHP to benefit the BJP fell on deaf ears. He added that he has now concluded that senior right-wing leaders tacitly supported terrorist activities, and, after 2014, have been more encouraged and active.