Joined: Jul 2005
Just goes to show that neither are all Muslims terrorists nor all terrorists Muslims. |
Hindu radicals behind Thane theatre blast
Mumbai, June 17, 2008
Two persons were arrested late on Sunday for allegedly planting explosives in two auditoriums and a movie hall in Mumbaiýs extended suburbs over the past four months.
Two of the three attempts had failed and live explosives were recovered from Vashi and Panvel, but the most recent effort on June 4 ý in the parking lot of a Thane theatre ý paid off, injuring seven people.
The Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police, which made the arrests, identified the duo as Ramesh Gadkari (50) and Mangesh Nikam (34), both Panvel residents. The ATS said the two are active members of Hindu fundamentalist organisations called Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and its offshoot, Sanatan Sanstha.
ATS officials said the two had planned crude, low-intensity blasts to protest against the film Jodhaa Akbar and the staging of the play Amhi Pachpute, a Marathi satire based on the Mahabharat. ýThey say the film and play have hurt their religious sentiments as they showed Hindu gods in poor light,ý said ATS chief Hemant Karkare.
The role played by HJS, a self-proclaimed protector of Hindu traditions, is yet to be established. The group had earlier protested against the play Yada Kadachit, of which Amhi Pachpute is an adaptation. ýOur protests have always been peaceful, through dialogue,ý said Dr Uday Dhuri, coordinator of HJSý Mumbai chapter.
Sanatan Sanstha, an organisation that practises and preaches scientific spirituality, held a press conference on Monday on behalf of HJS and denied their involvement.
However, it admitted that Gadkari was its member. ýHe carried out the blast on his own,ý spokesperson Abhay Vartak said at the press conference. He added that the Sanstha handed Gadkari over to ATS. ýWe have cooperated with the police even when they wanted to interrogate our members at 2.30 am,ý he said.
The second accused, Nikam, was allegedly involved in a February 2006 case in which a bomb was planted outside the home of a Catholic family in Ratnagiri.
ATS officials said Nikam had learnt how to assemble explosives and had in turn taught Gadkari, who procured the explosives.