New Delhi : The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday urged the central government to take the actions of ‘Hindutva elements’ in the army seriously after a serving lieutenant colonel was arrested in connection with a terror attack.
“The central government must take the reports of Hindutva infiltration in the army seriously,” the CPI-M said in a statement.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit Tuesday for allegedly supplying money and explosives in the Sep 29 Malegaon blast near Mumbai that killed five people.
The blast was blamed on a Hindu militant group, Abhinav Bharat, for which a retired army officer has been arrested along with other members like Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. Purohit’s is the first case of a serving military officer being taken into police custody for terrorism related activities.
“The investigations into the Malegaon bomb blast have revealed the involvement of certain extreme Hindutva organisations and elements. The role of some retired army officers and the case against a serving army officer have disturbing implications for national security,” the CPI-M said.
“The new dimension to the growing terrorist threat must be fully investigated and the entire network and persons involved uncovered,” the statement said.
Strongly criticising Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia’s argument that Hindus cannot be terrorists, the CPI-M said: “The RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and its outfits are making absurd statements that Hindus cannot be terrorists. These are the same people who go on talking about ‘Islamic terrorism.’
“Instead of strongly coming out against such extremist groups resorting to terror, the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has dismissed the serious development as a ‘sponsored investigation’,” the statement said.
“What needs to be recognised is that some extremist elements both amongst the Muslims and Hindus are resorting to terrorist violence. They will have to be dealt with firmly and their networks dismantled irrespective of the community they belong to,” the CPI-M added.
The Hindu militant group had allegedly held a meeting at the Bhonsala Military School (BMS), Nashik, 15 days before the Malegaon blast.
“The role of the Bhonsala Military School has to be investigated. No private educational institution can be allowed to provide military training. This must be immediately stopped and the school should conform to the regular educational curriculum,” the CPI-M said.