They lived dangerously courting death

“Live Dangerously” was Jawaharlal Nehru’s advice to youngmen to build a strong and prosperous India unmindful of the perils involved. Ironically, Sunil Joshi and his associates followed this dictum for a totally different pursuit. These men nursed with the poison of hatred against Muslims, chose a path of bloodshed and destruction and brought gloom to many. The very organisations for which they worked declared them persona non-grata to play safe.

Coming from a poor family Sunil Joshi received his early education in a Saraswati Shishu mandir run by RSS. From early childhood he received overdose of hatred for the Muslims. In 1999 he became a district pracharak at Mhow where he earned “a reputation for being an acrid fundamentalist.” He was popularly known as ‘Guruji’. In 2000, he developed strong bonding with Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra. This friendship of the “deadly three” brought untold miseries to many who fell victim to their designs.

He came in contact with Swami Aseemanand in 2003. However, their intimacy developed stronger when Indresh formally introduced him to Swami. When the “bomb-for-bomb” policy was approved, Indresh entrusted the attack assignment to Joshi telling Aseemanand to keep himself devoted to his mission of reconversion of the tribals in the Dangs. However, quite often he provided financial support to Joshi for his various missions. Joshi used to visit the Dangs quite frequently and stayed at Shabridham.

However, before undertaking bomb missions, Joshi and Dange had tried to bomb temples in Mhow several times to implicate local Muslims.” This was followed by the Congress men Pyare Singh Ninama and his son Dinesh. The family had named Joshi, Rajesh Mishra and seven others in their FIR. Mishra was arrested, while Joshi, in spite of clear cut evidence against him managed to escape and the police failed to apprehend him. According to Ashish Khetan, the MP police had not “done its job well” and thus gave him a lease of life to spill more blood. RSS “formally” expelled him, though his diary shows that he had been in constant touch with Indresh and Ram Madhav, RSS spokesperson. These two were recorded in his diary (alongwith a circuit of IED) as “Emergency Number”. An analysis of call records made/received between June and December 2007 shows that he had been in touch with “several senior RSS functionaries even after his expulsion.”

He asked Rajesh Mishra who had a foundry in Pithampur industrial area near Mhow, to manufacture 15 customised pipes with grooves on the inside and a hole in the centre for some important RSS work. In December 2002, after his attempts at Khade Hanuman Mandir and Swarga Mandir in Mhow, he dared to target the annual Tablighi ijtema held at Bhopal in December 2002. He had placed one bomb at Bhopal Railway Station. The matter was hushed up.

He undertook his first serious operation in 2006. Having received a sum of Rs 25000, he went alongwith Bharat Bhai Riteshwar to Jharkhand for buying SIM cards. They bought 11 such SIMs which were later used in different bombs that exploded. However, those that did not explode – one at Mecca Masjid and another at Ajmer, led to the arrests of his associates. The SIM numbers provided clue to their modus operandi. After each blast he would inform Aseemanand of the “good news” he had managed. Whenever Aseemanand doubted his claim, he would say that though he was away from the scene of crime his men had done it. In case of Ajmer blast, he claimed that he was at the shrine and had mixed with the crowd.

Aseemanand gave him Rs. 40,000 for Hyderabad blast and another Rs. 50,000 for Samjhauta Express. In fact, Samjhauta Express blast was Joshi’s own suggestion as he believed that only Pakistanis traveled by that train and it was a good tit-for-tat for ISI. When Joshi, after his mission at Panipat, informed that Indresh had provided him two Muslim accomplices, Aseemanand could foresee Joshi’s predicament. He believed that either the Muslims or Indresh would, sooner or later, silence him because he knew too much and had become a liability.

He was, as Harshad Solanki confessed, killed by him for his arrogant behaviour towards the Best Bakery absconders whom he had been shielding at Dewas in a hideout. His own men eliminated him in December 2007. Today, except Aseemanand, no one is willing to admit of association. (Also see MG 1-15 Jan 2011: how was he eliminated)