Centre rejects Maharashtra govt`s proposal to ban Abhinav Bharat

The Centre has reportedly rejected Maharashtra government`s proposal to ban Abhinav Bharat outfit.

Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh

New Delhi: The Centre has reportedly rejected Maharashtra government`s proposal to ban Abhinav Bharat outfit. According to reports, the Union Home Ministry turned down the state government`s plea to ban the radical Hindutva outfit on the grounds that there was no sufficient evidence of its continued involvement in terror activities in the last two to three years.

Abhinav Bharat is alleged to have been involved in Mecca Masjid bomb attacks, Malegaon bomb blast, Samjhauta Express blast and Ajmer Sharief attack. The Home Ministry is said to have written to the Maharashtra government about a month back opposing the ban on the outfit under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

According to sources, the MHA feels that there is no solid information available on the organisational structure of the outfit and also that the security agencies do not have enough proof regarding its continued terror funding. In such a scenario, the ban may not withstand the scrutiny of the court and may also not be upheld by a review committee mandatory under the Act.

Most of the top cadres of Abhinav Bharat, like Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, Sadhvi PragyaThakur and Lokesh Sharma are in jail. Swami Aseemanand, Kamal Chauhan, Sunil Joshi (now dead) and Rajendra Choudhary are some of its other prominent leaders. Himani Savarkar, daughter-in-law of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar`s brother and niece of Nathuram Godse is also said to owe her allegiance to Abhinav Bharat.

According to security agencies, the outfit is now reduced to being a marginal movement in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and lacks a pan-India influence.

Abhinav Bharat became the focus of sustained investigation after Malegoan blasts. As per the chargesheet filed by Mumbai ATS in this case, members of Abhinav Bharat had held meetings in 2007 and 2008 at various places such as Ahmedabad, Ujjain, Kolkata, Bhopal and Indore.

After the outfit started being linked to terror activities, the RSS and others of the Sangh Parivar distanced themselves from it and called them fringe elements whose members may have been associated with the parivar at one point of time.

The members of the outfit have also been accused of plotting to kill senior RSS leaders with whom they were disgruntled and who they thought were not doing enough for the cause of Hindutva.