Congress leader alleges former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on 14 Aug, was kept on life-support to ensure Modi’s I-Day address not cancelled?

In a shocking revelation, which cannot be confirmed independently, a senior Goa Congress leader has alleged that former PM and senior BJP leader Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had breathed his last on 14th August late evening or during the intervening night of 14-15 August itself, but his demise was kept a top secret and he was put on life-support on the instructions of the PMO to ensure that 15th August – Independence Day was not declared a day of mourning, resulting in the cancellation of all events and I-Day programs across the country, including the PM’s Red Fort speech.

This was also done keeping in mind national security and law and order issues, the Congress leader told IndiaScoops.com.

The Goa Congress leader later clarified to IndiaScoops.com that he was not able to verify this information, and it was based on messages floating on social media.

He however did state that some senior Goa BJP Ministers were aware of the demise of the former PM on 15th morning itself, and a pall of gloom had descended on their faces during the I-Day functions, across the State.

IndiaScoops.com has not been able to independently confirm or verify any of these allegations and does not subscribe or endorse them. This post is published, merely based on messages which have appeared on social media over the last 3 days and some conflicting press reports, which were edited and republished later on.

We tried to ask several prominent citizens and political leaders across the country to clarify the gossip on social media, but they all stated that besides the Prime Minister, the PMO and a handful of top AIIMS doctors, nobody would be in the know, even if it did happen and the rumours were true.

“If a decision was taken by the Prime Minister himself, in the interest of national security and law and order in the country, besides the PM and a couple of doctors including the AIIMS director, nobody could tell if it’s true or false,” said a former Union Minister and Supreme Court advocate, speaking to IndiaScoops.com.

However, it must be pointed out that similar rumors have been doing the rounds on social media platforms, since the evening of 15th August, with BJP workers expecting the worst.

IndiaScoops.com contacted several BJP leaders and politicians from different parts of the country, who re-directed us to the PMO saying they were not authorised to comment or give inputs on matters relating to the Prime Minister or the PMO.

PMO officials were not available for comment on 15th August.

Even an article in The Statesman – which was edited and corrected later on, mentioned and reported the premature news.

While the official announcement was made by AIIMS only after 5.15 pm on 16th August, The Statesman reported that ‘rumours started floating around 2.30 pm that the BJP leader was no more, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the hospital, but the AIIMS authorities are yet to release any statement.’

Social media gossip allegedly claims that Vajpayee passed away late evening or during the night of 14-15th August, but to ensure that there was no disruption in the I-day events, the hospital authorities did not release the news on the instructions of the PMO.

The former PM was kept on life-support, also with the hopes of reviving him, but the doctors were not successful and after PM Modi visited the hospital on 16th August around noon, the decision was taken to pull off the life-support and withdraw the machines, announcing the demise.

According to media reports, PM Modi visited AIIMS on two occassions on 16th August, further fueling rumors of the former PM’s demise.

An AIIMS statement late on 14th August evening said:  “Unfortunately, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s condition has worsened over the last 24 hours. His condition is critical and he is on life support system,” AIIMS said in the last statement issued late on Wednesday.

Social media users took this as a hint, gossiping that Shri Vajpayee had passed away and several posts started doing the rounds on Facebook, alleging that the former PM was no more.

Vajpayee had only one functional kidney. In 2009, he had suffered a stroke, which weakened his cognitive abilities. Subsequently, he developed dementia, says The Statesman report.

Justifying the delayed decision a member on Quora – a social media platform writes:

All decorations at the BJP office that were made on the eve of Independence Day were taken down this morning (16th August morning). Death of Bala Saheb (Bal Thackeray) was also declared many hours later because everyone was afraid of crowds and public outrage that could’ve taken place.

Firstly, national security is taken into attention (sic) during these situations. Secondly, traffic situations are considered and only then any declaration takes place, the user writes.

Several such posts have appeared on social media, giving credence or trying to justify the conspiracy theory and rumours that our beloved former PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee may have passed away much earlier than it was actually declared by the Government of India. 

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below…

Film “Saffron Terror” based on the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, directed by Trilok Mukhi goes on floor

A film titled “Saffron Terror” that claims to reveal all the inside secrets and alleged terror activities of Goa-based, far-right Hindutva organisation Sanatan Sanstha, its offshoot the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and other right-wing outfits, directed by Trilok Mukhi has gone on floor.

kalyanji-jana
Kalyanji Jana plays the protagonist of the film Saffron Terror

According to actor Kalyanji Jana who has been selected by producer-director Trilok Mukhi to play the role of the protagonist in the film the producer has done extensive research on the Sanatan Sanstha for the last 7 years.

A press note released by the publicist of the film says the film will be ready for release by Jan-Feb of next year if everything goes well.  IndiaScoops.com has learnt that part of the film has already been shot abroad, but the director was not ready to share any further details, citing security reasons. He also refused to reveal the name of the rest of the star cast of the film.

Also Read: “Saffron Terror” To Expose Inside Secrets, Terror Activities and Murder Plots of radical Hindutva Outfits Sanatan Sanstha and HJS

The project was kept under wraps for the last six months as the makers felt that release of information regarding the project would result in its demise even before it could be born.

The film is produced by Trilok Mukhi Films and directed by producer-director Trilok Mukhi.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

Mukhi, an intellectual and a writer is a recluse and currently resides in London and is a UK citizen of Indian origin.

He lived in Ponda in Goa – where the Sanatan Sanstha is headquartered for four years, before moving to the UK and started directing films.

He is also working on another historical film Pratapgad, which is moving at a snail’s pace.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

The film “Saffron Terror” will be an eye-opener for both – civil society and the government.

Fearing a government ban or wide-spread protests in India, Mukhi plans to first release the film abroad in the US and UK markets and only after that if the atmosphere is conducive, in India.

“The film is based on true facts and real stories. It is not a work of fiction, Mukhi said, adding that truth hurts and many people including a lot of politicians will not want this film to be screened in India, as thousands of skeletons will tumble out of the closets of the Sanstha and the HJS.”

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

The film begins even before the inception of the Sanatan Sanstha and covers several incidents or alleged terror activities, reportedly associated with the Sanatan:

The Sanstha has washed its hands off all the above allegations and claimed that if a member committed a crime, you cannot blame the entire organisation.

Drawing an analogy, a Sanatan Sanstha spokesperson said, “if a Christian priest in Kerala commits the offence of rape, you cannot blame the Pope. You cannot say the Catholic Church or the Pope encourages or teaches people to rape.”

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha wants to set up a Saffron Army of 2000 trained killers and shooters for terrorist activity

The director of the film claims he has researched the Sanatan Sanstha for the last 7-10 years, since the time he lived in Ponda. Some Sanatan ‘seekers’ or ‘sadaks’ were my good friends. You can call me an “outstanding member” of the Sanatan Sanstha – a person who was  an unofficial member, who never entered the precincts of the organisation.

According to actor Kalyanji Jana, who is the narrator and main protagonist in the film and plays the role of a ‘seeker’ or ‘sadak’ and a senior member of both the organisations – Sanatan Sanstha and HJS, the film will reveal the dirty politics and terror plots of the organisations which claim to be working for the benefit of Hindus.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

Jana explains that the film is very well-researched and will reveal the true or inside story and hidden agenda behind the murders of  Dabholkar, Pansare, Kalburgi and Lankesh and the other related terror activities of the Sanatan Sanstha and its associated outfits like the Sri Ram Sene and the HJS.

He alleges that certain elements in the Shri Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan whose chief is Sambhaji Bhide are also associated with terror activities.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

A spokesperson for Trilok Mukhi Films said the film is under production and is likely to be ready for release in January-February of next year if all goes well.

The Sanatan Sanstha has time and again denied all the allegations made against it, claiming that it has no control over what individual members do in their personal capacity.

Cow Slaughter Bigger Crime than Rape or Terrorism, Beef Eaters deserve to be Hanged or Lynched: BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja

A Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Rajasthan Gyan Dev Ahuja while speaking to some local media persons, reiterated his earlier statements made in July this year claiming that slaughtering cows is a bigger crime than terrorism, as cows are treated and respected as “mothers” in India.

Not just that, he went steps ahead this time, claiming that cow slaughter must be treated more seriously than even rape and gang rape or cross-border terrorist acts.

Also Read: Stop Eating Beef or Get Killed, Lynchings To continue if Muslims, Christians Don’t Stop Eating Beef

Ahuja tried to defend those involved in lynching incidents claiming that they (lynching) are crimes of passion and happen on the spur of the moment in a sudden spurt of anger as a devout Hindu cannot tolerate his “mother” being murdered and that too for human consumption as beef.

“We must not blame them (those involved in lynching). Instead those who indulge in illegal trade and sale of cows for slaughter must be blamed and punished,” Ahuja is understood to have told media persons on Wednesday.

Also Read: Beef to be completely banned in Goa, rest of India by 2019?

Repeating his statements about five times during the course of the interaction, Ahuja said:

“Those who kill cows for meat must be hanged and those who involve or get involved in lynching cannot be blamed as cow slaughter is the most heinous crime of all, more evil and unforgivable than rape and gang rape, or terrorist acts.” 

Gyan Dev Ahuja, who represents Ramgarh in Alwar district, had earlier claimed terrorists kill “two to five people”, but slaughtering cows hurts the sentiments of thousands of people and hence cow slaughter is a much bigger crime than terrorism.

Also Read: Those who eat beef should be hung in public, says Sadhvi Saraswati

Speaking to media persons today, he went one steps further and added fuel to his earlier utterances, stating that cow slaughter is a bigger crime than terrorism or rape, as both these crimes though very heinous, affect only a few people, while cow slaughter is a crime against the entire nation.

“I will consider rape and terrorist activity as a lesser evil than killing a cow for food,” Ahuja is reported to have said.

Also Read: VHP and Bajrang Dal set to impose complete beef ban in India

As reported by PTI earlier, Ahuja had claimed “misbehaviour with the mother” will not be tolerated in India and therefore it is a bigger crime than terrorism.

“We treat cows like our mother,” he had said in July, according to a Hindustan Times report. “Cow slaughter should be kept in the category of terrorism and special task force should be made to deal with this issue.”

Also Read: Stop eating Pork & Beef, embrace Hindutva or else leave India

Speaking to reporters at the BJP headquarters in Jaipur, the legislator had said cow slaughtering will incite people and hurt their sentiments, which will lead to some incidents.

This is what the BJP MLA had said in July as reported by ANI:

cow-slaughter

“Court should accept this. How should such incidents be stopped?” he said, trying to justify the incidents of lynching and particularly the Alwar incident.

Also Read: Jesus was born in a Cow Shed, so Christians must Stop Eating Beef says RSS leader Indresh Kumar

Ahuja said India is a country, which respects mother and “Geeta, Dharti (land), cow, Ganga, Tulsi and a birth giver” are treated as mother in the country.

Who is Gyan Dev Ahuja?

According to the Indian Express, Ahuja is an MLA from Ramgarh, that lies in Alwar district. Ahuja enjoyed a sudden rush of national fame in 2016 at the height of the controversy over anti-national slogans being shouted in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University when he claimed that thousands of condoms and liquor bottles were found on the campus daily.

Also Read: Goans must stop eating beef and understand they live in Hindustan not Portugal

“There is a controversy over what I said but I stand by my statement. I personally practice a satvik diet and satvik way of life,” Ahuja said at the time.

Ahuja was first elected to the Rajasthan Assembly on a BJP ticket in 1998, then lost in 2003, then was re-elected in 2008 and 2013. Ahuja had also said in the past that he funded cow vigilantes to operate in his area.

Also Read: Vigilantism leads to severe Beef shortage in international tourism destination Goa

Ahuja who has studied till class 12, says he’s a journalist on his official profile. Ahuja was managing editor of a now-defunct weekly called Mat Sammat.

The BJP MLA had defended the killing of Pehlu Khan, a farmer who died after being beaten by cow vigilantes in Alwar in April 2017.

Also Read: Bible doesn’t say ‘eat beef’, Christians in India stop eating beef or we will have to stop it our way: RSS

In December 2017, a man smuggling bovines was caught and assaulted in Alwar, and Ahuja reiterated that people caught smuggling cows could be killed.

Mera toh seedha seedha kehna hai ki gautaskari aur gaukashi karoge to yu hi maroge (I will only say that if you smuggle and slaughter cows, then you will be killed),” he had said, claims an Indian Express report.

Ahuja had accused the police of conspiring against the lynchers and insisted that two of the three men arrested by the Alwar police for lynching Rakbar Khan are “innocent and should be released immediately,” the Hindustan Times had reported.

with inputs from Hindustan Times, Indian Express & PTI

Mastermind of the Gauri Lankesh, MM Kalburgi murders could be hiding in Mumbai: SIT

For the last 5-6 years, a clandestine unnamed group of radical Hindutva elements has recruited around 60 men for the purpose of making bombs, assembling weapons and creating communal unrest and assasinations in Karnataka and Maharashtra, reports The News Minute (TNM).

Also Read: Shoot her in the head as it was done in Kalburgi murder, Gauri Lankesh killer taught during training

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing Gauri Lankesh’s murder has uncovered this information after questioning one of the prime suspects Amol Kale arrested for the murder of Gauri Lankesh, says a TNM report.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh Murder Accused Ganesh Miskin Confesses To Killing Kalburgi

Kale was associated with the Sanatan Sanstha and other far-right Hindu organisations including the Hindu Janajagruthi Samiti an offshoot of the Sanstha.

On Sunday, a team of SIT sleuths took off for Mumbai to look for the alleged mastermind – the man they believe conceptualized the establishment of an organised, covert, radical Hindutva group, which includes planners, executors and logistics-handlers for a series of murders of rationalists and progressive writers across the country.

Also Read: 36 Targets and 50 Shooters: Gauri Lankesh Murder Suspect’s Diary Reveals Chilling Details

“We believe that the mastermind of Gauri Lankesh murder, Nihal alias Dada, may be in Mumbai. There is also suspicion that he may be a government servant. Nihal is also an alias, his real name may be different and the SIT is trying to track him down. He is the one who can lead us to the murder weapon,” a source told TNM.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

When the SIT arrested accused Amol Kale earlier this year, the investigators learnt that among the people he had recruited were the same men arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Mumbai’s Nalasopara.

It was the information that SIT passed on to ATS, which was used to raid the hideouts of several members of Hindu Janajagruthi Samiti (HJS).

Also Read: Hardliners trying to hoodwink cops, claim bombs were for Maratha agitation

The ATS seized a cache of materials and explosives used to make bombs and a huge lot of weapons and ammunition.

SIT sources revealed that of the 60 members recruited by Amol Kale and Nihal, 22 of them were from Karnataka who were being trained in the use of guns to kill rationalists and anti-Hindu voices, reports

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

“Gauri’s killer was one of these 22 men,” the SIT source said. Investigations have revealed that these youth were also trained in creating communal hatred and also blowing up IEDs.

Details of their training were revealed after the arrest of the 12th accused in the case, Bharat Khurne (37), in Belagavi on August 9. Khurne who owned two licensed weapons allegedly trained these men at his vegetable farm in Khanapur.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killer

Sources revealed that the group also carried out clandestine activities including recruiting and training men belonging to radical Hindutva outfits. These covert operations were centred around Maharashtra and Goa.

Three of the 12 persons arrested by the SIT in connection with Gauri Lankesh’s murder; Parashuram Waghmore, Ganesh Miskin and Amit Baddi, have a history of inciting communal violence and were allegedly trained by Khurne in firing guns.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

“Keeping the operations secret was the main objective of our group. A new recruit would never be given phone numbers of any person in the group. Telephonic conversations took place over public phones. Only when the new recruit was initiated into the group and the members were sure of trusting him, one cellphone was given to the recruit. He had to use it to contact his point person and use his code name only and not his real name. This was done to ensure that other members did not know his identity. Everyone maintained that level of secrecy,” Sujeet Kumar’s statement to the SIT says.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha has 22 different outfits, registered in different States under different names

Upon Sujeet Kumar’s arrest in May, the SIT had searched his house in Udupi and found 22 cellphones, which the SIT believes were given to the group’s men.

SIT sources also revealed that they suspect a connection between the killers of rationalist Govind Pansare in Maharashtra and the HJS activists arrested in Mumbai on Friday last week.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha wants to set up a Saffron Army of 2000 trained killers and shooters for terrorist activity

“Exactly a year after the suspect in Govind Pansare’s case, Sameer Gaikwad, was released on bail, Gauri Lankesh was killed. The forensic evidence states that rationalist MM Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh were killed by the same weapon. CID’s investigation had also revealed that there was a possible connection between the Kalburgi and Pansare murders. It is an angle the SIT is looking into,” the source said.

Also Read: Arrested for possession of explosives, Vaibhav Raut was an active member of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and a vociferous Gau-Rakshak

The Maharashtra CID today officially confirmed that the same set of killers involved in the Gauri Lankesh murder were also involved in the murder of scholar and rationalist M M Kalburgi.

“Yes, we have got certain leads provided to us by the Special Investigation Team. It will be premature to share the details. We cannot even say how many are involved.  All we can say at this juncture is that the leads are very credible,” IGP, Maharashtra CID, K S R Charan Reddy told news agency PTI.

Accused in Gauri Lankesh Murder, Ganesh Miskin Confesses Involvement in Kalburgi Murder

New Delhi: Confirming speculation that the same group of people were behind the assassinations of rationalists and anti-Hindutva writers, one of the suspects arrested in the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh has confessed to the SIT that he was also involved in the murder of professor M.M. Kalburgi, claims a report in The Wire.

Also Read: Shoot her in the head as it was done in Kalburgi murder, Gauri Lankesh killer taught during training

According to a Bangalore Mirror report, Ganesh Miskin, who was arrested for ferrying suspected Lankesh shooter Parashuram Waghmare to her home, confessed he was one of the people who arrived at Kalburgi’s home and knocked on the door to shoot him dead.

Also Read: 36 Targets and 50 Shooters: Gauri Lankesh Murder Suspect’s Diary Reveals Chilling Details

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) is probing Lankesh’s murder, while the CID is investigating the killing of Kalburgi.

The SIT had already established that the same gun was used for both the assassinations.

Kalburgi was shot dead at his residence on August 30, 2015, while Lankesh was also killed at her doorstep on September 5, 2017, reports The Wire.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

According to Bangalore Mirror, the SIT probe has found that the mastermind behind Lankesh’s killing, Amol Kale, was also one of the key players in the killing of Kalburgi.

Earlier this week, a formal report was forwarded by the SIT to the CID on the link between the two murders and also the statements of Miskin and three others.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

While Miskin has confessed to his presence at the Kalburgi crime scene, he claimed he was not the shooter.

A report in The Hindu quoted CID officials as saying, “Statements by any suspects before the police were of little value and they had to be corroborated with material and technical evidence to be able to pin them down.”

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killer

Of the 12 suspects arrested in the Lankesh killing, several belong to extremist groups Hindu Janajagruti Samithi (HJS) or Sanatan Sanstha.

Members of these two organisations have also been accused in the murders of communist Govind Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, in addition to Lankesh and Kalburgi. Miskin’s confession seems to have further corroborated these links.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh killers planned to kill actor Prakash Raj, a Goan Congress leader and a Mumbai-based journalist

According to a report in The News Minute, Miskin told investigators that mastermind Kale and Amit Degwekar, the latter of whom was living in a HJS ashram in Goa, were also involved in murders which were carried out in Maharashtra.

Probing these links, the SIT is expected to soon arrest three more members in Maharashtra.

Arrested hardliners trying to hoodwink ATS, now claim the bombs were for Maratha agitation

The three arrested accused affiliated to far-right Hindutva groups told the Maharashtra ATS on Wednesday, they wanted to support the Maratha agitation for reservation in jobs and education by setting off bombs near Maratha morchas to send the government a “strong” message, reports the Indian Express.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

However, senior ATS officials debunked their statements saying the accused are hardened criminals and are experts at delaying tactics. They are probably trying to gain the sympathy of the interrogating officers, by making emotional statements.

The actual plan may be very different. We are investigation all angles, the officer told IndiaScoops.com.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

ATS investigations following the arrests at Nallasopara and Satara and the seizure of a huge cache of explosives on August 9 have found that the three men planned to trigger a blast around 100 to 150 metres away from the next Maratha morcha.

Sources said that the men wanted to send a stern message to the establishment to take note of their demands even if there were no casualties, reports Indian Express.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

The ATS officials are taking these claims with a pinch of salt. The hardliners have an inter-state network with bases in Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

They received logistical and financial support from various States. The Maratha agitation is a localized issue and confined only to Maharashtra. It is very unlikely that the bombs were intended for the Maratha reservation issue, an ATS official told IndiaScoops.com.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

The ATS received a tip-off from the Karnataka SIT investigating the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. Vaibhav Raut’s name was found in Amol Kale’s diary – one of the arrested accused in the Gauri Lankesh’s murder,

Kale was also part of the same inter-state gang, headed by unknown persons one of whom is alleged to be a retired army colonel.

The Karnataka SIT sent an SOS to the Maharashtra ATS detailing the role of Raut and others and his association with Kale. The ATS kept watch for a couple of days and then raided Raut’s residence and office, where a huge cache of arms and explosives were found, enough to support about 20 assassins.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha has 22 different outfits, registered in different States under different names

Why would such an inter-state team of killers be interested in a local agitation. The agenda was much bigger on a national scale, an ATS official suggested.

According to the ATS, the three men were also planning to carry out attacks in Mumbai, Pune, Satara, Solapur and Nallasopara and that the bombs they had assembled were low-intensity and meant to cause commotion and chaos, besides instill fear.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha wants to set up a Saffron Army of 2000 trained killers and shooters for terrorist activity

“The Maratha morchas were among their targets. During questioning, the accused have said that the crude bombs were assembled for the purpose of triggering a blast at the next Maratha protest. They planned to hurl low-intensity country-made bombs a few hundred metres away from the protest sites so that a strong message is sent to the establishment,” said a senior official, according to the Indian Express report.

Also Read: Arrested for possession of explosives, Vaibhav Raut was an active member of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and a vociferous Gau-Rakshak

One of the arrested men, Sudhanwa Gondhalekar (39) is a member of the Shri Shivpratishthan Hindustan whose chief is Sambhaji Bhide. Bhide has been booked by the Pune Police in two criminal cases in connection with the violence near Bhima Koregaon on January 1. He is considered close to PM Narendra Modi who has openly declared him to be his guru and source of inspiration.

Sources said that Bhide had also supported Maratha groups demanding reservation in education and jobs.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

The other two arrested are Vaibhav Raut (40), a member of the Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti, who is also an alleged sympathiser of the right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha and Sharad Kasalkar (25) who was arrested with Raut from Raut’s Nallasopara residence. The ATS had recovered 22 crude bombs from Raut’s residence and shop.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

“Gondhalekar has been closely tracking the stir called by Maratha groups. He was also part of many WhatsApp groups that were floated in support of the Maratha morchas. We suspect it was his idea to carry out the blasts during these morchas to support the cause,” said an official. “These are claims made by the accused, we are verifying this with digital and electronic evidence to see if what they are saying is true or if they are misleading us.”

While the digital footprint of their activities on various social media platforms and messenger services are being retrieved and studied, investigators are also combing CCTV footage from various locations they claimed to have visited.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut wanted to do a repeat of Malegaon Blasts

“Kasalkar and Raut were assigned the task of conducting reconnaissance and they claimed to have visited a few cities during and after the stir,” a senior official said. Sources said that besides the Maratha morchas, there are other protests and agitations on their radar, reports the Indian Express.

Police also said that several crude bombs recovered from Raut’s house were found hidden in a storage cavity in the bed.

Also Read: More Air Pistols, Pellets, Explosives Seized From Suspect Vaibhav Raut

“Eight bombs recovered from his residence were kept hidden in his bed. Since Raut was a local leader and a self-styled gaurakshak, he offered his residence to assemble and keep the bombs for safekeeping,” said an official.

An ATS team Wednesday conducted fresh raids at Raut’s Nallasopara residence and seized a Toyota Innova vehicle registered in his name.

The ATS also seized four air pistols, 20 air pistol pellets stored in matchbox-sized boxes, two CPUs, two notebooks, a diary, three mobile phones and two SIM cards, reports Indian Express.

with inputs from The Indian Express

With the arrest of Hindutva Terrorist Vaibhav Raut, Butchers, Meat-traders breathe easy in Nala Sopara

Nalasopara has heaved a big sigh of relief after the arrest of suspected Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut, who had allegedly terrorized his neighbourhood with his activities, reports Mid-day.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners had planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

According to the police, Raut, who called himself a gau rakshak, has been involved in a series of attacks on butchers in the area every Bakri-eid.

The ‘gau rakshak’ had terrorised the area with his activities, carrying out illegal raids on meat shops and creating communal tension in the area, say police

Raut allegedly tried to create communal tension, particularly in the neighbouring Sopara village, by harassing locals and carrying out illegal raids on mutton and beef shops.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

Every year, the police would extern him from the area for short periods, by serving him notices under section 144 of the Mumbai Police Act.

Raut, however, would stay put by bringing in political influence in the name of cow protection, said an officer, adding that even the police will breathe easy after his arrest.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

Living in terror
Sopara village’s Muslim community, especially the butchers, lived in fear and insecurity due to Raut’s activities — even when beef hadn’t been banned by the government, he would go around conducting ‘raids’ on meat shops and harassing the owners, said a local, Anis Qureshi.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

Speaking to Mid-day, he added, “In 2014, Raut forcibly stopped my tempo in his area and assaulted the driver.

The driver called me and I went to the spot, but Raut and his colleague abused and assaulted me too, saying I was smuggling cow meat.

They forcibly took me and my tempo to Nalasopara police station.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha has 22 different outfits, registered in different States under different names

I have never carried or supplied cow meat; after I showed all the relevant documents to the cops, they let me go and registered a case against Raut and his colleague.

“Large numbers of Muslims as well as gau rakshaks had gathered outside the police station that day… he had succeeded in creating communal tension; clashes could have erupted anytime. Huge police bandobast was then deployed in the area, for the first time in the history of Nalasopara.”

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha wants to set up a Saffron Army of 2000 trained killers and shooters for terrorist activity

Policespeak
“There are two cases of rioting and one of not following the district collector’s order registered against Raut at Nalasopara police station. Since 2015, we have been serving him notices to leave the area during Bakri-eid to maintain law and order there,” said Datta Totewar, SDPO, Nalasopara Division of Palghar district.

Source: Mid-day

150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested Sanatan Sanstha, HJS activists Raut and Gondhalekar 

The arrested hardliners Vaibhav Raut and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar were looking to procure about 150 pistols, 100 bombs and over 3000 bullets of different caliber for use in the coming 6-8 months, police sources revealed today.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha has 22 different outfits, registered in different States under different names

Vaibhav Raut a violent gau rakshak was the co-founder of a cow protection group, Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti set up in 2014.

The group is allegedly associated with Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, Shiv Prathisthan and the Sanatan Sanstha, all of which are radical far-right Hindutva organizations.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners had planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

Local Congress politicians and meat traders in Palghar from where Raut was arrested have termed him an extortionist who would extort money from meat transporters and fund his illegal arms manufacturing activity.

Investigations have revealed that while Raut put up a facade of being a devout Hindu and a cow protector among his local Bhandari community, he was involved in gun-running, smuggling of explosives and arms from parts of North India and money laundering using hawala.

He was part of an inter-state network of radical Hindutva agents whose aim was to create chaos and riots in the country.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha wants to set up a Saffron Army of 2000 trained killers and shooters for terrorist activity

The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) found a mini arms-making unit or factory and is now probing their links in Uttar Pradesh and Assam, official sources said on Monday.

The arrested persons were in the process of procuring machines and lathes to make country-made pistols and also fabricate bullets. They had obtained training from illegal arms manufacturing units in UP and Bihar, ATS sources revelaed. Imported arms were procured from Assam.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

On Friday, last week, the ATS created a sensation by claiming to have unearthed a terror plot targeting Mumbai, Pune, Satara and Solapur ahead of Independence Day celebrations and the upcoming Bakri Eid festival.

In the ATS swoop, three right-wing activists were arrested – Vaibhav Raut, 40, Sharad Kalaskar, 25, both from Nala Sopara in Palghar, and Sudhanav Gondhalekar, 39, from Pune.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

Over a dozen other associates or suspects have been interrogated to ascertain their connections in other parts of the state or outside and certain email exchanges between the accused with references to Uttar Pradesh and Assam shall be probed.

Continuing the raids and probe over the weekend in Palghar, around 60 km north of Mumbai, the ATS has found a mini arms production unit and seized at least five country-made pistols, three incomplete pistols, 11 cartridges of 9 mm pistols and 30 cartridges of 7.65 mm pistols, springs, triggers and other material, reports news agency IANS.

Also Read: Arrested for possession of explosives, Vaibhav Raut was an active member of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and a vociferous Gau-Rakshak

However, another media report claims over 11 pistols and 5 unfinished pistols were seized. At least a dozen fake motorcycle and four wheeler number plates were seized from the accused.

In the Pune raids, the ATS seized a laptop, six hard disks, five pendrives, nine mobiles and many SIM cards, a WiFI dongle, scores of documents and papers, besides a car and a motorcycle.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

During the raids in Palghar on Friday, the ATS seized 20 crude bombs and material and explosives that could be used to make at least two-to-four dozen or 50 more bombs.

The seizures included 22 non-electronic detonators, 1,500 gm of explosive powder, wire bundles, resistors, transistors, 10 batteries of six volts each and a connector, multi-meters, switches and circuits, connectors, gelatin sticks, two bottles marked as ‘poison’, diagrams and literature, all of which have been sent for forensic analysis.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

While Raut is described as a prominent ‘gau-rakshak’ and linked with Hindu Janjagran Samiti, Gondhalekar is connected with the Shri Shivpratisthan, spearheaded by the controversial 85-year-old Sambhaji Bhide alias Bhide Guruji, which has patronage of the PM Narendra Modi. Modi has openly admired Bhide and called him his guru or mentor.

with inputs from IANS and Indian Express

ATS claims Sanatan Sanstha has 22 different registered outfits, wants to set up a Saffron Army of 2000 men for terrorist activity

A senior official from the Maharashtra State Home department told the Indian Express, that the Sanatan Sanstha “has around 20-22 registered organisations. The units at various districts or cities are registered independently and are said to function independently of each other”.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

In one of the communique, the Maharashtra ATS had said that while in 1990, Jayant Athawale founded the Sanatan Bharatiya Sanskruti Sanstha, the organisation changed its name and claims to be floated in 1999.

Also, its various ashrams in Goa are registered in different names and as different entities.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

IndiaScoops.com has learnt that the Goa setup of the Sanatan Sanstha in Ponda has over 10 different entities or outfits operating from the same address, but under different identities with 5 of them registered individually.

A report by the ATS submitted by former ATS chief Rakesh Maria had said the Sanatan Sanstha were involved in an IED attack on February 20, 2008 at Cineraj Cinema at Panvel during the screening of the movie Jodha Akbar; a live bomb being hurled at Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium on May 31, 2008 while the play Aamhi Pachpute was underway and a bomb blast on June 4, 2008 in the parking lot of Ram Ganesh Gadkari Auditorium during the staging of the play Aamhi Pachpute.

Also Read: Arrested for possession of explosives, Vaibhav Raut was an active member of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and a vociferous Gau-Rakshak

“Of the six arrested, five were seekers (sadhaks) of Sanatan Sanstha and one was their servant,” the report, accessed by The Indian Express, stated.

It report added: “Sanatan Prabhat is a mouthpiece of Sanatan Sanstha. Articles regarding Jodha Akbar and Aamhi Pachpute were published in the said newspaper… it contents said that cinema and Marathi play are desecration of Hindu God, Hindu religion and Hindu epic, which is against the Hindu religion… with the intention to stop the play and cinema the articles were published… It evidently appears that the accused have committed the terrorist act to fulfill the aims of Sanatan Sanstha and its affiliated trust.”

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

A senior official said that after a lukewarm response from the Centre to the 2011 request, a fresh attempt was made in 2015 when late IPS officer Himanshu Roy was heading the state ATS.

“Following this, there have been many queries raised by the Centre. During one such queries, the state ATS had expressed reservation that banning one outfit won’t serve the purpose as its registered in different names,” the official added, according to an Indian Express report.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

IndiaScoops.com has learnt from the Maha ATS that the recent arrest of 3 far-right wing members and the seizure of a huge cache of arms, pistols, explosives and weapon and bomb manufacturing materials and hardware, was part of a larger plan to set up an army of about 2000 trained shooters or killers trained in warfare and bomb assembly and use.

The Sanatan Sanstha and its affiliates or related outfits like the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and the Shri Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, the Sri Ram Sene were part of a much larger national network of Hindu extremists whose plan was to carry out bomb blasts in different parts of the country and target minorities who would be made responsible for the blasts.

Also Read: Sanathan Sanstha a nodal agency for radicals involved in the murder of Gauri Lankesh, money for hits, was routed through donations made to Sanstha

The Sanatan Sanstha had activated a huge social media network and network of right-wing news outlets which would ‘pin’ the blame of the blasts on Muslims, leading to a hue and cry and a polarization within the majority community.

with inputs from Indian Express

Right-wing hardliners wanted to set up a ‘saffron army’ of 2000 mercenaries equipped with weapons and bombs

Bengaluru: Some indoctrinated and trained right-wing hardliners in Maharashtra, who are members of organisations that are reportedly linked to Goa-based ‘Sanatan Sanstha’, were reportedly working towards establishing a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ by 2023 with a ‘saffron army’ when the ATS blew the lid off their alleged conspiracy.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

The aim was to set up a force of about 2000 ‘killers’ in groups of 4-6, armed with weapons and bombs and get them to span across the country.

With that aim in mind, the hardliners were trying to set up a manufacturing unit to manufacture pistols and bombs on a mass scale.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa were identified as recruiting grounds for the group, with the interior rural areas of Maharashtra serving as the training grounds for the army.

An all-out attack by the hardliners would have meant a disaster for the BJP-led government in the state on the eve of Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and Lok Sabha elections next year, reports the Deccan Chronicle.

Also Read: Arrested for possession of explosives, Vaibhav Raut was an active member of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and a vociferous Gau-Rakshak

“Sir, please alert the Maharashtra (Anti Terrorist Squad) before it is too late” – a ‘Most Urgent’ communiqué from the Special Investigation Team (SIT), Karnataka to Maharashtra ATS literally saved the day for the state and helped the police unearth the ‘covert’ operation.

The “inputs” from the Karnataka SIT had come from the accused in the journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh murder case and the diary of Amol Kale (a key accused in the case).

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

The contents of the diary were shared at the “highest level” in Maharashtra and the immediate follow-up action by the ATS led to the arrest of three right-wing hardliners – Vaibhav Raut, a member of the Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti, Sudhanwa Gondhalekar, who is a member of the Shri Shivpratishthan Hindustan headed by Sambhaji Bhide, and Sharad Kasalkar from Nala Sopara and Satara and recovery of huge cache of firearms, explosives and incriminating literature.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

During the raids the ATS reportedly recovered a deadly cache of contraband firearms – 11 country made pistols with magazines, one air gun, 10 pistol barrels, six pistol magazines, six incomplete pistols, three partially made magazines, seven partially made pistol slides, several half-made parts of illicit firearms from the accused.

“The ATS has unearthed an illicit manufacturing and assembling unit of arms and explosives, which was being assembled for a major attack in Maharashtra. The 7.65 mm country-made pistol, which was used to kill Gauri Lankesh may be part of the cache of illegal firearms that was seized by the ATS,” said an official source on condition of anonymity.

Also Read: Sanathan Sanstha a nodal agency for radicals involved in the murder of Gauri Lankesh, money for hits, was routed through donations made to Sanstha

Recovery of the killer weapon will help the SIT in cracking the case.

The team has so far arrested 12 accused in the sensational murder case. Deccan Chronicle in 2008 had reported about the alleged plans of the extreme right-wing group in Karnataka to raise a pan India ‘army’ – ‘Bhayotpadana Nigraha Sena’ – comprising of nationalist Hindu youth in the age group of 18 and 30 years, who would be trained by former army and police officers, to purge the country of Islamic jehadi outfits.

Karnataka and Maharashtra were designated fields of operation for the recruitment and training of hardliners.

with inputs from Deccan Chronicle