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Swami Aseemanand

Affiliation: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
Categories: Most Dangerous
Location: Gujarat, India

Naba Kumar Sarkar, alias Swami Aseemanand is a Hindu nationalist, self-confessed monk who was involved in many terror attacks in India. Bengali by birth and a resident of Gujarat, Aseemanand was a lifelong RSS worker. He was once described by RSS’s mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ as the ‘hero of Dangs,’ the tribal belt of Gujarat where Aseemanand was active as a key coordinator of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, an RSS affiliate. Aseemanand is also associated with the radical Hindutva splinter group Abhinav Bharat.

According to The Hindu, Aseemanand is known to have converted many tribals in his places of work. He also began the Shabari Dhan Ashram, which has a huge following.

In 2010, he confessed to his involvement in several acts of saffron terror, including attacks on Ajmer Sharif, Mecca Masjid, the 2006 Malegaon blasts, and the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings. In total, these bombings killed hundreds of Muslims.

A 2011 Tehelka report said that Aseemanand confessed in Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court regarding the attacks, stating that he was admitting to his involvement without coercion.

In 2014, in a series of interviews with Caravan magazine, he stated that RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat approved the terror attacks. Between 2012-2014, in a series of interviews with The Caravan, he had hinted at RSS involvement in cases related to “Hindu terror.” He named several prominent names within the RSS who were hell bent towards carrying out violent activities in the name of Hindutva. He told the magazine that RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had told him confidently that “it’s very important that it (violence) be done” but without it being linked to the Sangh.

After BJP came to power in 2014, Aseemanand was granted bail in the Mecca Masjid case and later acquitted by a Jaipur court in the Ajmer blast case. He still faces trial in many other terror cases.

Some of his statements:

“I am a violent one among the Sangh people. Have used violence to establish Hindutva — in Dangs, Andaman, Chattisgarh, and Nagaland. Please don’t write it.”

“A bomb must be responded to with a bomb.”

“Look, we should do some violence in the name of Hindus. There are people in the Sangh who feel so. Whatever happens, it will be between us alone. We will not link the Sangh with this. We won’t take any help from you for this. We are letting you know because you are the top officials, that we are planning to do this.”