Sunday, October 31, 2010

BJP activists attack Arundhati Roy's house

A large group of BJP Mahila Morcha activists protesting Arundhati Roy's recent remarks on Kashmir broke into the compound of the writer's residence here on Sunday.

The mob assembled outside Ms. Roy's house in the high-security diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri around 11 a.m. and shouted slogans against her for more than half an hour. “Curiously, three news channel vans were stationed outside our house even before the protest began…the mob was abusive and broke through the front gate of the house,” Ms. Roy's husband, Pradip Krishen, said.
Ms. Roy was not in the house at the time of the attack. In a statement, she said the mob numbered as many as a hundred persons. The activists broke a few flower pots kept outside the house and dispersed before the arrival of the police. They were prevented from entering the house by the guard and servants.
Police complaint
Mr. Krishen later lodged a complaint at the Chanakyapuri police station, following which police personnel were deployed outside the residence.
He said this was the second such attack at their Kautilya Marg residence since June 2010, when some men on motorbikes pelted stones and smashed some windows.
Though Mr. Krishen had no idea about the identity of the protesters, he suspects that they were supported by a section of the Sangh Parivar “who have already declared their intention to harm and harass Arundhati Roy.”
The police have registered a case and are investigating.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ajmer blast case: RSS leader's name figures in charge sheet

The charge sheet filed by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Rajasthan police against five accused in the 2007 Ajmer dargah blast case on Friday has named senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Indresh Kumar as having provided “guidance” for a conspiracy hatched by radical elements for planting bombs in several cities across the country.
Despite pointing the finger at Mr. Kumar for addressing a secret meeting in Jaipur on October 31, 2005, the charge sheet, filed in an Ajmer court, has not arraigned him as an accused. It only says the probe is still continuing, though the RSS has denied Mr. Kumar's involvement.
The ATS has not identified the RSS or the radical outfit Abhinav Bharat as being involved in the conspiracy for the blast, drawing flak from activist groups here. They have alleged that the investigating agencies are trying to “pre-empt” the conclusions about the Sangh Parivar's direct role in terrorism.
The 806-page charge sheet says the “office-bearers of some organisations” hatched a conspiracy to counter the terror attacks on Hindu religious places and prepared a list of targets where the blasts are to be carried out. These included the Ajmer dargah, the Malegaon mosque and the Makkah Masjid in Hyderabad.
Mr. Kumar, says the charge sheet, addressed a secret meeting of radical activists at a guesthouse in Jaipur, where he exhorted them to “get affiliated to various religious bodies for completing their mission.” This will eliminate the scope for suspicion about their trips to different cities.
According to the charge sheet, the main accused in the Ajmer blast case, Sunil Joshi of Indore (who was later murdered); the prime accused in the Malegaon blast case, Pragnya Singh Thakur; and four others checked into the guesthouse under fake names for attending the meeting.
The roles of different persons were decided at the meeting, with the prime task of carrying out the blast at the time of ‘Iftar' at Ahata-e-Noor in the dargah assigned to Sunil Joshi, alleges the charge sheet. Lokesh Sharma and Ramji Kalsangare were asked to collect weapons and explosives and carry out a recce.
The charge sheet says Devendra Gupta was asked to arrange for a mobile SIM card with fake identity papers, while Sandeep Dange and Sunil Joshi would have to arrange for money for the terror activities.
The ATS produced one of the accused, Chandrashekhar, in the court while two others — Devendra and Lokesh — are in Hyderabad for interrogation in connection with the Makkah Masjid blast. Sandeep and Ramji, who are reportedly absconding, were named as accused.
The prosecution appended to the charge sheet 213 support documents as well as a list of 133 witnesses. Chief Judicial Magistrate Jagendra Agrawal took cognisance against Devendra, Chandrashekhar and Lokesh under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosives Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and posted the case to October 26.