Sunil Joshi murder: silencing the mastermind

New Delhi: Sunil Joshi’s murder would have gone into cold storage. For years the local police had shelved the file on the pretext of inadequate evidence. The real fact was just the opposite. Not only had police sufficient evidence but also the knowledge that Joshi had become a liability for the organisation that was neck-deep in conspiracies – too many to enumerate.

The pracharak’s name was behind almost every major terror operation – Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer dargah. He was the mastermind in planning attacks, training and supervising bomb-making as well as conducting recce. His criminal career started with the murder of a prominent Congress leader. But the police looked the other way allowing him a long tether. An emboldened “guruji” had all the Gujarati accomplices at his beck and call because he was providing them safe haven. Harshad Solanki alias Raj, Mohan, Mehul, Jayanti Ustad lived at the outskirts of Devas with fake identities. As all of them were wanted criminals, they maintained low profile, avoiding the local people.

When National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Rajasthan ATS began grilling Harshad Solanki, MP police could not keep the lid closed and “revived” the closed file. Anand Raj Kataria (Indore) and Vasudev Parmar (Devas) played key role in Joshi’s elimination and in allowing the killers to escape. Anand Raj’s father, Sanjay Kataria, used to stay in former minister Laxman Gaud’s residence in Bhopal. When Gaud died in an accident, among the mourners were not only Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Chauhan but also Sadhvi Pragya.

Harshad Solanki, fed up with “Guruji’s” alleged ill-treatment – calling him incompetent, lazy and even kutta, or more by the fear of his turning approver, decided to eliminate him. Solanki took Anand and Parmar’s help. Joshi’s mobiles were taken while escaping in a Maruti parked at a distance. Joshi was called by Solanki from his mother’s home to a road where two persons awaited him on a scooter. He was shot dead - three bullets were fired by Solanki. This is now Solanki’s confession according to MP police which many refuse to accept.

RSS leaders in Devas, after Parmar’s arrest, in a meeting concluded that Parmar was being framed up by police for some ulterior motive. Local leader Ajay Gupta is sure that he will be proved innocent at the court. Parmar used to take care of Joshi’s mother, hence he argues, “It’s surprising the police have booked him for Joshi’s murder.”

Harshad’s confession gave Digvijay Singh ample proof of what he had been saying for years.

During the recent Congress session, he said, “when they (RSS) cannot forgive their own pracharak then what will they do to others? ... there should be a deeper probe into it.” He believes that Joshi was eliminated because “perhaps he knew too much.”