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Hindu Mahasabha comes to blast suspects’ rescue

The Hindu Mahasabha has decided to provide legal aid to the ex-Army Major but not the umbrella organization Abhinav Bharat.

The Hindu Mahasabha has decided to provide legal aid to the Malegaon blast suspects from Pune — Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay and Sameer Kulkarni — and not the umbrella organization Abhinav Bharat of which the two are members.

This was confirmed to The Indian Express today by Himani Savarkar, national president of Hindu Mahasabha, also based in Pune. Both the accused refused to hire lawyers when produced before the Nashik court on Wednesday.

Savarkar is the daughter of Gopal Godse, brother of Nathuram Godse, Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin. She was married to late Ashok Savarkar, nephew of freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who had launched Abhinav Bharat before Independence for raising an armed struggle against the British government. The organisation was dissolved in 1952.

Savarkar claimed that she had become the national president of Abhinav Bharat only eight months ago and did not know anything about the website of the organisation, she said.

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The registered website of Abhinav Bharat, shut down since October 26 arrests, displayed the group’s constitution and said that Upadhyay was its working president.

“We will never support terrorism as it kills innocent persons. But charges against these suspects are not proved. So the Hindu Mahasabha has decided to provide them legal aid. If at all it’s proved that the Malegaon blast was executed by Hindus, I would consider it as a reaction to Islamic terrorism. It’s natural that some Hindus might believe in ‘bomb-for-bomb’ strategy because of the failure of government in tackling Islamic terrorism in Hindustan,” Savarkar said.

“I know Kulkarni as he was also associated with RSS,” she said, but added she wasn’t very familiar with Upadhyay. “I am new to Abhinav Bharat. It is not a registered organisation. There is no constitution or proper declaration of office-bearers of Abhinav Bharat,” she said.

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Savarkar said she was not contacted by the ATS so far. When asked if she knew Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit who is being questioned for his alleged links with Abhinav Bharat members, she said, “I have seen him once. There was no interaction between us.”

Meanwhile, there is yet another Abhinav Bharat that is run by Mumbai-based Pankaj and Manjiri Phadnis. This organisation is a registered body unlike the one in Pune. “We have nothing to do with the terror suspects,” Phadnis said today.

First published on: 01-11-2008 at 01:57:27 pm
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