“RSS involved in bomb-blast across India,” claims former RSS worker

Yashwant Shinde, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker claimed in an affidavit filed in Maharashtra’s Nanded court that he took part in a bomb-making camp a year before the 2004 Lok Sabha election and that the organisations connected to the RSS were responsible for a slew of bomb explosions around the nation.

In the affidavit, Shinde named several RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers who were involved at many levels of planning and executing a bomb blast. 

He claims that he has worked for RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal at state and national level in various capacities. 

“Bomb making training camp”

Shinde also mentioned that in July 2003 – he received a message about an important meeting at Gol Deul (round temple) of Khetwadi area in South Mumbai. He claims to attend the meeting.

“There were only two people. They were the members of RSS and were close associates of Milind Parande who was the leader of VHP, Maharashtra Prant. These two persons informed the applicant that a training camp in bomb-making was going to be organized shortly and thereafter, there was a plan to cause bomb blasts throughout the country. They put forth the proposal that he should take responsibility for carrying out maximum bomb-blasts in various parts in the country. He was shocked but did not show it on his face and asked them in a lighter vein whether it was a preparation for 2004 Lok Sabha elections. They did not answer.”

Shinde stated that even though he didn’t approve of the plan, he did not openly show his disapproval and decided to pretend to be a part of the conspiracy so that he could identify the people involved in the plan.

“It was a three day camp organised in a resort at the foot of Sinhagad fort. About 20 youths from Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Nanded etc. districts of Maharashtra were present for the training.”

The affidavit identified Milind Parande, Rakesh Dhawade, and Ravi Dev (Mithun Chakravarty) as the case’s principal conspirators in addition to Indresh Kumar and Himanshu Panse. While Ravi Dev taught students how to make bombs, Milind Parande and Rakesh Dhawad organised the training camps.

“The said Mithun Chakravarty would reach the camp at 10 a.m. and would conduct the training for two hours in different groups. The trainees were given material like 3-4 kinds of explosive powders, pieces of pipes, wires, bulbs, watches etc. for preparing bombs,” Shinde claimed.

He described the training process, saying that the trainees would be taken to a remote forest location to practise using the bombs. The bomb with timer would be placed in a small pit dug by the trainees, which would then be filled with dirt and large boulders before the explosive was set off. Their experiments were successful. 

Shinde stated that he made multiple trips to Nanded to persuade Himanshu Panse not to participate in a bomb blast conspiracy because it was an RSS plot to ensure the BJP’s win in the Lok Sabha elections. 

He claims that Panse continued the conspiracy because he appeared to be under pressure from the senior officials.

“After the training Himanshu had caused three blasts in Marathwada region of Maharashtra. He had a plan to cause a major blast in the main mosque in Aurangabad and while making a bomb for that blast he lost his life in Nanded in 2006.”

Milind Parande was the mastermind of the conspiracy for nationwide bombings, according to Shinde.

According to the affidavit – Shinde was intentionally chosen for this project by the RSS and BJP leaders because they believed that, given the right circumstances, he could carry out nationwide explosions. In addition to “Garjana” in Maharashtra, “Hindu Yuva Chhatra Parishad” in Jammu-Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Assam, and UP, “Shri Ram Sena” in Karnataka, and senior leaders like Tapan Ghosh in West Bengal, he interacted with all of these groups. He could have set off 500–600 bomb explosions if he had wanted to.

“As the RSS and VHP’s plan of causing blasts throughout the country was not as successful as was expected, the BJP was not politically benefitted. Consequently in the 2004 elections Congress party got the majority. The persons like Milind Parande who were the main conspirators were scared and went underground, but they continued hatching conspiracies secretly. By remaining underground they carried out many bomb-blasts across the country and with the help of biased police and one sided media blamed them on Muslims. That helped them in 2014 Loksabha elections,” affidavit mentioned. 

At present Milind Parande is secretary general of VHP.  

In 2014, the BJP won the elections, making Narendra Modi the prime minister. 

As per the affidavit – this caused all of the subterranean destructive forces belonging to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to suddenly activate.

VHP denies allegations

VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal told Maktoob that he isn’t aware of any such affidavit by Yashwant Shinde, nor he knows anything about Shinde, and he won’t comment on it. 

Bansal blamed Congress saying that the party shouldn’t be trusted at all.

“RSS can never support anything anti-national or illegal activities, RSS believes in Hinduism, they can never be involved in anything which is against the country,” Bansal said.

He added that Milind Parande is a large figure, he dedicated his life for the nation and anyone who blames Parande shouldn’t be trusted. 

Shinde states that the same individuals who were responsible for “terrorist anti-constitutional acts in West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, etc. were deliberately attempting to foster a climate of mistrust and dread across the nation.”

Shinde in the affidavit named Milind Parande, Rakesh Dhawade and Ravi Dev as the main conspirators in the Nanded blast case of 2006. 

“This allegation should be investigated”

“The recent affidavit shows that RSS and VHP hatched a conspiracy to detonate bomb across the country to ensure BJP’s win, and it should be thoroughly investigated, with a proper legal route, it will be established that leadership of the RSS and VHP were part of the conspiracy, it’s a strong allegation, ” Congress National Convenor Saral Patel told Maktoob.

He added that it’s a classic modus operandi by the RSS and VHP to deny any such allegations.

“RSS have denied their association with Godse, even though in Kapur commission Godse’s association was established, whenever they are part of such activities they deny their association,” said Patel. 

Congress leaders Pawan Khera and Digvijaya Singh tweeted the affidavit saying that the revelation from the former RSS worker has exposed the right-wing organisation.

“Training was given by leaders of RSS/VHP. Judiciary should take notice of this statement by Yeshwant Shinde and make the names of persons involved as accused. He should be given protection because after his statement his life is certainly under threat,” tweeted former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh.

Who is Yashwant Shinde?

After reading about the persecution of Kashmiri Pandits, according to Shinde, he travelled to Jammu in 1994 and was given the position of “vistarak” for Rajouri and Jawaharnagar. 

When Farooq Abdullah, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, made a statement that agitated him, Shinde allegedly slapped the National Conference leader in the face. 

He was then detained and transferred to the Rajouri police station.

 “He was released on bail after 12 days; but was again arrested under the Public Safety Act. He was released from jail after four months. A trial was conducted against him and he was acquitted by the court in 1998.”

In 1994, Shinde completed the RSS (Prathmik Sangh Shiksha Varg) preliminary training course. He finished the second level of the RSS training programme in 1996–1997 from Chandigarh. He was then named the “Pracharak ” of Reasi Tehsil in Jammu’s Udhampur district. 

In 1999, he returned to Mumbai and was appointed the Bajrang Dal’s chief. He met Milind Parande while working with the Bajrang Dal. Parande He oversaw the VHP division in Maharashtra.

Arshi Qureshi is an independent journalist based in Mumbai