A Military Intelligence report of the Army on disgraced officer Lt Colonel Prasad Srikant Purohit — now in jail for his alleged role in the Malegaon 2008 blast and links with Hindu extremists — reveals that his organisation, Abhinav Bharat, had plotted to kill senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar.
Its reason: Indresh, Purohit suspected, was the "mole of the ISI" (Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence) in the Sangh Parivar and had received fake Indian currency to the tune of Rs 21 crore from the Pak agency.
Indresh's name also figures in statements made by some of the accused in a string of terror attacks on Muslim targets, including Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and the Samjhauta Express. Indresh has denied any role and said the government has been playing politics with the investigation.
The plot to kill Indresh Kumar was revealed by Purohit in his interrogation in connection with the September 29, 2008 Malegaon blast, according to the MI report which has been obtained by The Indian Express.
Incidentally, the MI report on Purohit says: "Malegaon bomb blast coincided with birthday celebrations of Col Purohit's younger son. It may not be a mere coincidence."
Purohit was jointly questioned by the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) then headed by Hemant Karkare, the Intelligence Bureau and Military Intelligence-9 on October 29-30, 2008.
The MI report says Abhinav Bharat was Purohit's brainchild, set up to counter ISI activities in India with "financial assistance" from wealthy RSS supporters. The report says that a Pune-based rich, "staunch" RSS supporter, Shyam Apte, was roped in to finance the plot to kill "ISI agent" Indresh with a fraud Sharda Peeth Shankaracharya alias Dayanand Pandey jumping onto the bandwagon to make money.
"Ajay Rahilkar aka Raja handled the financial affairs (of Abhinav Bharat) as directed by Col Purohit. One Shyam Apte (70 years), a committed worker of RSS was the main provider of funds. Rahilkar has disclosed payment of Rs 3.20 lakh to Rakesh Dhavde (the arms supplier of Abhinav Bharat) to buy arms as directed by Purohit. This has been separately confirmed by Dhavde and Col Purohit, who stated that these weapons were being procured on directions of Shankaracharya who tasked Col Purohit to eliminate one Indresh Kumar, a senior RSS functionary based in Delhi. Indresh Kumar was allegedly an agent of ISI and along with one Subedar Singh was also involved in pumping of fake Indian currency," says the interrogation report.
While Purohit claimed that it was "Shankaracharya" who asked him to "eliminate" Indresh, Shyam Apte told the Maharashtra ATS that it was Purohit who told him that during a special assignment in Nepal, entrusted to him by Director General Military Intelligence, he unearthed the involvement of Indresh in ISI activities.
Purohit then reportedly claimed that Army headquarters didn't act on his report and frustrated at this, he (Purohit) approached Apte to help kill Indresh as he was "the enemy of the country and Hindu dharma."
The report underlines the fact that Sadhvi Pragya Singh also said that when she discussed the issue of the "proposed elimination" of Indresh, who was like a father to Pragya, the "Shankaracharya conveyed that it was Purohit who had requested him to accommodate two commandos (at his Faridabad ashram) in Delhi."
The report says: "Shankaracharya told Pragya that he refused to accommodate the two commandos of Colonel Purohit as they had been sent to eliminate Indresh Kumar."
The plan to assassinate Indresh was activated during Purohit's visit to Delhi from Panchmarhi during January 26-29, 2008. According to the report, Purohit stayed at the Shankaracharya Ashram in Faridabad and introduced Major (Retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, Bharat Bhai and Sameer Kulkarni to Dayanand Pandey. According to Purohit, it was during this meeting that the Shankaracharya asked him to procure weapons for killing Indresh.
According to the report, it was during Abhinav Bharat's first public meeting in Bhopal on April 11-12, 2008 that Purohit managed to bring the Shankaracharya and Swami Aseemanand on a common platform. "Presence of Sadhvi, Ramji Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange at the function also demonstrated his proximity to the core group who had undertaken anti-Islamic acts in the recent past. The officer initially denied his presence at the meeting but on confrontation with Sadhvi admitted to his illegal presence. He also admitted handing over a 9 mm pistol to one Aloke, close associate of Shankaracharya, at Bhopal Railway Station to kill Indreshji in Delhi," the MI report said.