Former RSS activist Swami Aseemanand has been acquitted in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast by a National Investigative Agency Court today. The firebrand Hindu leader was accused of planning plotting terror attacks on civilian targets across the country between 2006 and 2008 the major being the Ajmer Sharif and Mecca Masjid blasts, the 2006 Malegaon blasts and the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings. He was given bail in the Samjhauta Express blasts in September, 2016. These attacks were what led to the coining of a new term Saffron terror. He was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy and sedition in three blasts that had claimed over 80 lives. Here’s what you need to know about him:
1 A major part of his life went into working for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s tribal affairs wing, the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA) in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He is reported to have constructed temples of Hindu Gods in tribal areas.
2 According to a Caravan report, he was proud of occupying the same jail cell in Ambala Central jail where Gopal Godse, co-conspired to kill Mahatma Gandhi along his brother Nathuram Godse.
3. Born in Hoogly district of West Bengal, he draws inspiration from Paramhansa Ramkrishna and his disciple Swami Vivekananda.
4. In 2010, he confessed to having planned the attacks apparently after being moved by the plight of a Muslim man falsely implicated in the Malegaon blast.
5. He claimed the terror attacks were plotted in Muslim majority areas to avenge Islamic terror.
5. However, he later withdrew the confessions.
6. Again in 2014, he gave an interview to Caravan magazine in which he alleged that the terror attacks had the sanction of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. He denied making this statement later. The magazine released the audiotapes of its interviews.