MUMBAI – According to The CSF (Christian Secular Forum) Mumbai, the recent statement (23rd March 2011) by Sadhvi Pragya Thakur to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) that Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit was involved in the anti-Christian violence that rocked Orissa and Karnataka is not to be seen in isolation. Rather it is to be read along with the earlier Indian Military (MI) report which reveals Lt.Col .Prasad Srikant Purohit’s own admission that he and his Abhinav Bharat militant outfit targeted Christians in several places including MP, Maharashtra, Kandhamal and Karnataka.
According to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s statement the 2008 Malegaon blast main accused Lt. Col Shrikant Purohit met her a week after the attack and he told her he was into big things like blasts etc. She also alleged, he told her that he had masterminded the Orissa and Karnataka “disturbances” i.e. Kandhamal riots and attacks on churches in Mangalore. She also reportedly said he had also showed her rail tickets to prove his claims. However, the NIA has proof of an SMS sent by Lt. Col. Purohit to all his associates after the Sadhvi’s arrest, which said “Singh has sung…” implying her involvement in the Malegaon blast also and being part of the larger picture.
The Army Intelligence report also mentions assistants of Lt. Col. Purohit like Sameer Kulkarni, a part of the military wing of Abhinav Bharat who is known to be involved in the IED blast in Ajmer in 2007. Police records confirm his involvement in anti-Christian riots in Pune, Jabalpur and Bhopal. Lt Col Purohit admitted that on behalf of Abhinav Bharat, Sameer killed two Christians in Orissa in August 2008. This act indicated that Lt Col Purohit wanted to establish an organisation with aggressive anti-Christian stance,” the MI report said.
The anti-Christian agenda of the extremist Hindutva outfits is clear from the Sadhvi’s statement and the MI report. Hence, it is imperative that the scope of the NIA investigations on Hindutva terror be widened to include the anti-Christian attacks in Orissa and Karnataka, where it has been on an unprecedented scale. The statements of Pragya Thakur and Lt. Col. Purohit also expose the Hindutva brigade’s role in other states too – Pune in Maharashtra, Jabalpur and Bhopal in MP – to name a few. The game plan aims at crippling Christian religious places, property and institutions, besides eliminating its nascent community leadership at the grass roots.
The Union Government must act before its too late. The CSF has sent a memorandum to the prime minister and federal home minister calling for handing over of the anti-Christian violence in Orissa and Karnataka to the NIA as its brief is to counter terrorism in the country. The Sangh Parivar terror suspects include militants such as Indresh, Aseemanand, Col. Purohit, Dr. Praveen Togadia and others, who have since long been spewing venom and conducting hate pogroms against the minorities. There seems to be a clear nexus and synergy between elements of the Hindutva brigade, state machinery, lower judiciary, bureaucracy, criminals, corrupt, etc. especially in the BJP ruled states, where attacks against Christians have seen a rapid upswing.
The 2008 violence spread across 13 other districts of Orissa. In Kandhamal alone, more than 6,600 homes were destroyed, 56,000 people rendered homeless, thousands injured, and about 100 men and women burnt alive or hacked to death. Among the women raped was a Catholic nun. A BJP MLA continues to be free despite being accused of many crimes including murder and who has had his bail plea rejected by the Supreme Court. In Karnataka it was hundreds of Churches that were descecrated, Christians brutally beaten up, over 350 false cases foisted on Christians, property held by the community taken over and no relief to date received. All of which has been brought out by Justice Michael Saldanha in his independent peoples‘ enquiry report to counter the sham official report.