Terrorism

The absconders: profiles in treason

 

New Delhi: With Swami Aseemanand’s confession several other names have assumed significance. Sunil Joshi and his associates in various operations have attracted the attention of one and all – the common man as well as the security forces. Recent declaration of rewards on the three key operators has raised the fear that probably they would have the same fate that Joshi met.

Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji alias Vishnu Patel (40) had been a RSS pracharak at Indore. Being close to Mhow, he had been in constant touch with Sunil Joshi. an electrician by trade, he picked up the details of bomb manufacturing quite easily. Mhow being a cantonment abounds with active and serving military personnel. It was not difficult for Joshi and Ramji to acquire the necessary know-how. He attended meetings at Shabridham as well as at other places, e.g. Ujjain and Jaipur etc. Most of the planning was finalised at his Shanti vihar residence in Indore (what an irony – Shanti vihar for terror plans!)

It was he who rode Pragya Singh Thakur’s motorcycle to Malegaon. He had visited the place a week prior to the blast. He was also in the good books of Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit who might have supplied him with the RDX needed for blasts in the Samjahuta express. He has been absconding since 30 September 2008. Last year, there was a rumour that he had been nabbed but later it proved to be a false lead. He carries a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head.

Sandeep Dange, another co-conspirator, also carries a reward of Rs 10 lakh. Sunil Joshi trusted him for his capacity to raise funds as well as ability to procure explosives. He was reputed for his technical know-how being an engineer himself. He was highly short-tempered and had even taunted Swami Aseemanand when he did not provide the group with enough funds.

In his confession, Swami Aseemanand recalls that immediately after the 2008 Malegaon blast, he had received a frantic call for help from Dange. As the Swami was travelling at the time, he could not shield them at Shabridham. He offered to give them a lift. The two (Dange and Ramji) travelled with him and the “bags” they carried had pipes etc.

The third absconder, Ashwini Chauhan alias Ashok alias Amit alias Prince alias Sunny, is believed to be around 30, carries a reward of Rs 2 lakh. Neither the Swami nor the security forces divulged what kind of association he had with Joshi and Dange.

As the security forces are camping at Indore and other places like Pithampur, Shajapur and Ratlam their arrest is not too far. It is believed that they are in Madhya Pradesh shielded by some highly influential persons. Swami Aseemanand’s confession has made them highly vulnerable to attacks.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 February 2011 on page no. 8

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