Fact Finding Report on the Attack on RSS Headquarters
Milli Gazette Online
Fact Finding Report on the June 01, 2006 Attack on RSS Head Quarters
Constituent Member Organizations:
People's Union for Civil Liberties, Nagpur
Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai
Dharm Nirpeksh Nagrik Munch, Nagpur
Andra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee, Hyderabad
Indian Association of People's Lawyers
Bahujan Sangarsh Samity
List of Members
Head of the Team
Justice B G Kolse Patil, Rtd Judge of Mumbai High
Dr Suresh Khairnar,
1. Dr Anand Teltumde, CPDR, Mumbai
2. Adv P Suresh Kumar, Andra Pradesh Civil
Liberties Committee, Hyderabad
3. Mr Ahmed Latif Khan, Civil Liberty Monitoring
4. Dr D John Chelladurai, India Peace Centre,
5. Mr Nagesh Choudhury, Bahujan Sangarsh Samiti,
6. Mr Arvind Ghosh, PUCL, Nagpur
7. Adv Anil Kale, Indian Assn of People's Lawyers
8. Adv Surendra Gadling, Indian Assn of People's
9. Mr Gaffar Shakir, Dharm Nirpeksh Nagrik Munch,
10. Mr A K Ghosh, PUCL, Nagpur
11. Mr Arvind Deshmukh, Bahujan Sangarsh
12. Mr T V Kathane, Nagpur, Bahujan Sangarsh
13. Adv Anand Gajbhiye, IAPL, Nagpur
Introduction: The nation awoke on June 01, 2006 hearing the shocking
news of an attempted attack on the RSS headquarters building. It was a
respite that the news of police foiling the attempt too came along.
The news of attempted attack on the Head
Quarters of the RSS reportedly by 'Fidayeen', Pak based terrorist group,
sent a spine chilling fear in the minds of millions of peace loving
people in the country. We all know very well, the potential of such a
happening to ignite a trail of tragic clashes among the communities. The
peace loving masses heaved a sigh of relief as the leaders of every
community promptly condemned the heinous act and appealed to the masses
to maintain peace, and peace did prevail.
In the next twenty four hours quite a lot
of information, almost all the information pertain to the attackers had
been published obviously supplied by the police department to the media.
The narrative of the whole encounter as reported on June 02, 2006, in
stead of clearing the mystery of the attackers, unfortunately confounded
the citizens all the more. The reports were conflicting and leaving
innumerable questions on ground zero situation unanswered.
The foiled attempt and the appreciable
tranquility maintained by the masses were a great relief. However the
deadly weapon and ammunition with which the 'fidayeen' (as told by the
Commissioner of Police) appeared, and the ease with which the police
claim to have liquidated them, suggested that the Police team had a
'cake walk' over the deadly terrorists.
The very next day a section of the media
aired their doubt over the whole happening (as reported by the Police
Commissioner), most of them quoting wide sections of the national
community, including senior leaders.
The peace loving social activists and
campaigners for communal harmony based in Nagpur were at first relieved
by the success of the police over terrorist. However the confounding
report appeared in the media and the doubts aired by masses and leaders
prompted them to read between the lines. Particularly, the 'Islamic'
terrorist attempting to attack RSS Head Quarters has a larger
implication. It has the potential to push the nation into a communal
strife. Scuh a thing should not be allowed to happen in any manner,
orchestrated by any group. The confounding report of the 'encounter'
therefore requires an honest study.
The above stated social organizations,
hence constituted a Fact Finding Team comprised of the above mentioned
activists. The team is headed by Mr B G Kolse Patil, retired Judge of
Mumbai High Court, and Convened by Dr Suresh Khairnar, a renowned social
The team visited the site of the encounter,
spoke to the people residing in the vicinity. The team also visited the
RSS Head Quarters and met Mr Shirish Wate, the HQ incharge. The team
went to Government Medical College to meet the Doctors who carried out
the postmortem. Dr Dhavane, who was present gave elementary information
and declined to give any detail. The team spoke to Dr Vibhawari Dani,
Dean, Govt Medical Hospital and College. The Dean also declined to talk
over the postmortem report. It was a classified document, she said. The
team repeatedly sought an appointment with the Commissioner of Police.
The CP too declined to meet the team. On the contrary the CP asked the
respectable members their credentials, who funded the team, what
international connection does the team have and similar questions, with
apparent intention to intimidate the team from their earnest effort to
help the society to know the truth.
Incident: as reported by Mr S P S
Yadav, the Commissioner of Police, Nagpur
The Special squad of the City police who
were on high alert following specific input from intelligence agency
spotted a white Ambassador car moving in a suspicious manner in Lakdi
Pul in Mahal area and started tailing it. Two cars, a Tata Sumo and a
Qualis were used in the operation. The tailing cars were unmarked and
all police personal in it were wearing plain clothes.
When the ambassador car with red beacon
atop moved towards RSS Head Quarters, one for the constables in the Tata
Sumo casually asked the young occupants about their intentions. Rattled
by the enquiry the militants opened fire on the police vehicle even as
they tried to get away. In the process they dashed into the barricade
near the eastern side of the RSS HQ. The alert cops led by PSI Rajendra
Tiwari, PSI Arvind Saraf and PSI JA More replied to the Gunfire. It was
their bulletproof jackets that saved police personnel. The terrorists
also threw a hand grenade on the police party. But it failed to explode.
They threw the grenade without pulling out the pin.
The gun battle lasted about 20 minutes in
which the militants fired 76 rounds while the cops retaliated with 63
rounds. The terrorists had three AK-M automatic weapons, 12 hand
grenades and 5.6 Kgs of highly explosive materials with them. They also
had three spare magazines for their fire arms each carrying 30 rounds.
They had hundred and twenty rounds each, said Mr S P S Yaday
Mr Yadav also reported to have said,
looking at their preparation and determination to storm RSS HQ at any
cost despite heavy police deployment, indicates that it was a 'fidayeen'
attack. Refusing to divulge the exact identity of the three militants,
who were in the age group of 20-22 years, Mr Yadav described them as
'Islamic militants.' At this point of time, he added, it is too
premature to associate them with any outfit.
The Media Report
As per the details received from the police
a white Ambassador car MH 20-8979 with a red beacon and three persons on
board dressed as police sub-inspectors, was first spotted by the
patrolling police party at the central avenue some time before the
incident. The car was heading towards Badkas Chowk. As it emerged form
Chitaroli, two police vehicles, a Tata Sumo carrying two PSI and five
constables and a Toyoto Qualis with 5 PSI got suspicious about the car.
The police vehicles hastened the chase of the suspicious ambassador car.
At Badkas chowk the ambassador car took a left turn towards Junta chowk
and again turned right towards the Sangh building from the Lakdipul
side. Presuming the car might have gone towards Ayachit mandir the
police stopped the chase for a while. However when the police jeep came
back to the same place during their routine patrol, they noticed the
same car in a small alley between Lakdipul and Gajanand Mandir towards
the eastern gate of the RSS Head Quarters. The Police vans then closed
in on the ambassador car. However, without paying heed to the police
patrol the car tried to force its way through the temporary barricade
erected 50 meters before the main entrance of the RSS HQ.
At this juncture the PSI Tiwari intercepted
the ambassador car and enquired as to where it was heading. Instantly
thereafter the two ultras who were seated on the rear seats came out of
the car with a grenade in their left hand and AK56 rifle in the right
hand. One of them lobbed the grenade at the police, but since the pin
was not fully removed it failed to explode. Seeing this the ultras
opened indiscriminate fire at the police party. In the melee PSI Saraf
who just alighted from the police vehicle got hit at his abdomen.
However, since he was wearing a bullet proof west the bullet did not
pierce his body.
Soon after this police force and the ultras
started exchanging fire in which two of the three militants were killed
on the spot. The driver of the car then tried to flee towards the Bhauji
Daftari School. However he could not escape the bullets from the police
and he too was killed on the spot. The entire shoot out went on for just
around 15 minutes between 4.00 and 4.15 AM. The police then informed the
control room and the commissioner of Police about the shoot out. The
senior police officers immediately reached the spot and shifted at the
three ultras to the government medical college where they were declared
brought dead. .The members of Dautkani family along with other
neighbours woke up at the sound of the firing and one of his family
members opened the door of their house to peep outside. However alert
cops told the family members to shut the door and remain inside the
house only. It was to prevent the terrorist from taking shelter in the
Dautkani house and taking them as hostages. The operation was carried
out by the city police successfully without any loss of life other than
that of the militants.
The press reported on the 2nd June that,
all the three terrorists are said to be Pak nationals. Two of them
hailed from Lahore and the third from Gujrangwala. The police had seized
from the place a dairy which contained email address in Urdu, a few
phone numbers of Lohare and Gujrangwala. Rs 45,000 and maps of the city
were recovered from the terrorist. The names of three terrorists are
said to be Afsal Ahmed Bhat, Bailal Ahmed Bhat and Mohammed Usman Habib.
(Indian Express Group) Nagpur Marathi edition, dated June 03 2006
carried an article containing the following detail. 'Normally the
attacks by the terrorists are preplanned meticulously and they seldom
fail in their attempt. This being the public opinion, the recent futile
attempt by the terrorist on RSS building and the success gained by the
police in thwarting the attempt creates suspicion in public mind as well
as among RSS people and their rivals. Though normally terrorists claim
the responsibility of the attack, no terrorist group has claimed any
responsibility to this attempt. Therefore the question arises, whether
they were hardcore Islamic terrorist or just any other new comers.
According to police statement, threat of attack on RSS head quarters
loomed large for the last one year and there was security cordon around
the building. Yet the attackers seemed to have no idea of any of them,
neither did they seem to know the roads leading to RSS building. And no
map of the building and its surrounding could be found with them. During
the whole encounter with the police the terrorists got only one chance
to lob a grenade and that too did not explode. Not a single policeman
was injured by the bullets of the attackers, put a question mark on the
ability of the terrorists. The attackers could bring a car load of guns
and bullets, hand grenades, powerful explosives like RDX from places
thousands of kilometers away without being detected or checked by any
police or civic authorities, is a matter of surprise even in the RSS
circle. The RSS which usually take such attack on them seriously and go
for nationwide protest, unusually kept extraordinary silence and the
morning Shaka at the Head Quarters went on with more people attending
it. It was a surprise even among the cadres of RSS. This also has
created among their functionaries doubt over the bona fide of the
attackers. However, they speak in a low voice.
a Marathi newspaper from Mumbai, published a title page news from its
special correspondent from Nagpur, with the caption: "Mahanayak's
Special Story on the Attack on RSS Head Quarters." The news goes
like this: There is a talk among the Nagpur police that, of the 11
police who conducted the encounter, 6 police did not even know how to
handle a carbine. Some of them were under demotion on account of
departmental disciplinary action, and they were given this 'chance' to
prove their 'worthiness.' Sources close to the police circle say, none
of the eleven cops had special Commando training. The authorities
punished two of them, for they extorted from a 'gutka' merchant a huge
amount (Rs 3.5 lakhs) five months ago, in the Panchpoli police station
area. At the orders of the CP they were shifted to another 'punishment'
section. Police inner circle is surprised at the composition of the
squad for most of them do not know to handle guns properly. The reporter
gives details of many indisciplines of the eleven police personals and
wonders how and on what basis they were selected for Special Squad to
handle such an important assignment in the RSS HQ.
1. When the police had prior information about possible attack on RSS
Head Quarters and the police were prepared, as stated by the
Commissioner of Police
(CP), to handle possible attack, why did they allow the attackers to go
close to the RSS HQ? Why did the Police not stop them at first sight?
2. We hear from the residents, that the
police had a kind of rehearsal to the 'encounter' few days back on the
same spot. Police even fired on air on the occasion, they claim. And
when the actual encounter took place, these residents said, they first
thought that it was yet another demonstration. Why did the police take a
demo few days ago?
3. The CP has said, "when the
ambassador car with red beacon atop moved towards RSS HQ, one of the
constables in the Tata Sumo casually asked the young occupants about
their intentions. Rattled by the inquiry the militants opened fire on
the police vehicle even as they tried to get away." For the
constable to ask casually, either he must have brought his car (the
police vehicle) side by side to the terrorist vehicle or he (the
constable) came by foot close to terrorist vehicle (and asked them). In
either case the constable must have been exposed to the terrorist attack
at close quarter. How did the constable escape unhurt? The narration of
the incident doesn't have any detail to clarify this.
4. There is no eyewitness to the whole
happening. The encounter took place according to the police at
4.15 AM. The bodies of the assailants were removed even before the press
reporters (who were the first people other than the Police), reached the
spot, close to 5.00 AM. Why this hurry?
5. Day one media report says, Deputy
Commissioner Mr Prabhat Kumar was in the patrolling team and he smelled
foul and started tailing it in their unmarked blue Tata Sumo. Why did
the CP not bring him (Mr P Kumar) in his (CP) narration of the
encounter? Why did CP hide the DCP?
6. Another report says that the patrolling
police that tailed the ambassador at one point "presumed the car
might have gone towards Ayachit mandir the police stopped the chase for
a while. However when the police jeep came back to the same place during
their routine patrol, they noticed the same car in a small alley between
Lakdipul and Gajanand Mandir towards the eastern gate of the RSS Head
Quarters. As the point where the police missed the ambassador car and
the place where they saw them again are the same small alley, do the
police mean to say that the attackers were waiting over there until
7. It is said that the attackers' car tried
to force its way through the barricade. The said barricade was installed
a couple of weeks before June
01 2006, in the aftermath of weapon seizure from antisocial elements in
the State. When the attackers came where were the sentries posted at the
barricade? They must have been the first one to stop the terrorists or
get attacked by the terrorists. Where were they?
8. The exchange of fire took place for
twenty minutes, it was reported. Can anyone explain how the police
disabled the terrorists from using the dozen hand grenades and the 360
rounds of bullets?
9. That the terrorists had 12 hand grenade,
360 rounds of bullets, 5.6 Kgs of highly explosive material which was
later stated to be RDX, and they battled for twenty minutes 'hopelessly'
not using any of them, is a narration that fails to convince common
10. It was reported that the police
recovered from the terrorists' vehicle a sealed case containing 12 hand
grenades. The terrorists coming on a deadly mission carrying their
munitions in sealed cases does not comply the logic of terrorist attack.
They did not even open them when they were fighting for 20 minutes in a
losing battle makes the narration all the more unconvincing.
11. That the terrorists, reported to be 'fidayeen'
who chose to travel on white ambassador car with red beacon atop, not
knowing what is the official protocol but chose to wear PSI dress, does
not comply with the statement of the CP that the terrorists were a
12. The reported information that the
police recovered wet underwear and soaked bathing soap from the white
ambassador car suggests that they could not have been 'terrorists' on a
mission involving their very life.
13. The police declared them as 'Islamic'
terrorist and Pak based 'fidayeen'. The stated seizure of a diary
containing all their names and their own telephone numbers sounds farce.
Usually we do not write our own telephone numbers in our dairy.
Terrorists of deadly mission carrying a dairy with their own identities
when they were on an attack, do not appeal common sense.
14. Even if the police had found a dairy
belonging to the attackers, how did they decipher the code names and
codified messages in so short a time that in less than 10 hours the CP
could reveal their identity as 'Islamic' terrorist and 'fidayeen'? (the
history of terrorist attack tells clearly that the terrorist do not
carry written documents. If they have to write any they choose to write
in codes and false names.)
15. What authentication did the police
possess to finally declare them as Muslim and bury them according to
Islamic rituals? What was the hurry to bury the dead bodies of the
terrorists without establishing their identity?
16. Few holes on the walls (opposite to
Bharat Mahila Vidyalay) are, said by the CID official present at the
site, as bullet marks. Two of the six marks found to be marks of bullets
fired from right across, at 90 degree. One bullet mark, as marked by the
police on the Bharat Mahila Vidyalay wall too clearly indicates that the
bullet was fired at 90 degree. Were the police and their vehicle come
side by side the terrorists? It was amusing, that the police officer
present at the time of the team's visit to the spot, told that bullet
fired by police present down the lane, from behind the terrorist vehicle
possibly took an aerial curve and hit the wall at 90 degree.
17. There is hardly any mark of terrorist
bullets on the other side, except on Police vehicle.
18. The blue Tata Sumo vehicle that was
tailing behind the terrorist vehicle had six bullet marks. Two of them
at least apparently pistol bullet marks. The police report did not
mention terrorists having used pistols. How did pistol bullet mark
appear on the police vehicle?
19. The terrorists were reported to have
fired from AK-M automatic guns. The bullet marks on the blue Tata Sumo
of the police bear bullet marks that are all single shot marks. There is
no series of bullet marks (which is expected of if the opponent was
using an automatic gun) that raises the doubt over nature of exchange of
20. One bullet hole was found (in the
police blue Tata Sumo vehicle) on the right side front door from inside.
The point of hit was almost at the hip of the driver. Had the driver
been on his seat he must have been hit. There was no report. It is clear
that the driver was not in the seat at the time of firing. We found
bullet marks on the same police vehicle hit from three angles on the
left side of the vehicle. Three bullets were 45 degree from behind, two
bullets 90 degree on the left and one bullet130 degree further that hit
just below the front windshield.
The question is, if the vehicle is not on
the move during the attack, (as the bullet did not hit the driver), then
how did the bullet mark appear from three angles? This question assumes
significance as it was not possible for the terrorists to move to such
wide range and fire from all three angles, for, they were caught in
their vehicle that was trapped in a narrow alley and they were
21. Mr S P S Yadav, Commissioner of Police
is reported to have said, "Looking at their preparation and
determination to storm RSS HQ at any cost despite heavy police
deployment, indicates that it was a 'fidayeen' attack." This
conclusion of the CP amounts to be hasty in his decision; or the
terrorists were in his hand prior to the encounter, for him to know
about them in detail.
22. On the site of the encounter was parked
a white Maruti Omni car at the premises of Mr Jopat, the compound wall
being fenced by barbed wire. As the house is the first one in the lane
(in front of which raised the barricade) and the attackers are in side
the lane, if the police wanted to target the attackers, they should have
gone some where behind this Maruti Omni car. When there was over
140rounds of fire, there is not a single bullet mark on the vehicle.
This creates strong doubts over the nature of reported encounter.
The above raised scores of doubts arise in
the mind of every citizen who looks at the whole happening without any
bias. The team wanted simple clarifications for these doubts, from the
Commissioner of police, Nagpur and approached him continuously for five
days. That the CP persistently declined to meet the team and answer
these simple strait queries, reveal his unwillingness / inability to
face these fair queries. It also suggests that he chose to hide certain
facts from the masses.
All these confounding happenings lead the
team to question the veracity of the Commissioner of Police's narration
of the encounter. The 'Cock and Bull' story of the encounter thus
compels the team to infer that the encounter appears to be fake and
requires, at the interest of the nation society, a fair probing. The
team therefore, calls upon the Central government to appoint a Judicial
Enquiry Committee headed by retired Judge of the Supreme Court and probe
the whole episode.