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A History Sheeter Appointed as the President of Women’s Unit of SRS

Yogesh S |
Parashuram Waghmare of Sri Rama Sene, who was arrested by the SIT of Karnataka, has confessed to the assassination of Gauri Lankesh.
Sri Rama Sene

The Sri Rama Sene (SRS), a Hindutva organisation based in Karnataka, has appointed Yashaswini Mahesh alias Muniyamma, a history sheeter in the Basavanagudi police station of Bengaluru, as the president of the women’s unit of SRS. Yashaswini has over 10 cases, including attempt to murder and extortion registered against her, at the JP Nagar Police station.

A senior police officer speaking to The Indian Express, said: “She had escaped twice from police custody. Now, the case is pending in the court, and the trial is on in a few cases. However, her entry into Sri Rama Sene won’t rip her ‘rowdy sheeter’ status. She will still remain a history sheeter with the police.”

It is not surprising that a criminal is recruited for a position by the Sene which is an organisation that facilitates lawlessness in the state. SRS Chief Pramod Muthalik, responding to the criticism following the appointment, said, “Yashaswini is innocent until proven guilty by the court. Our state members have chosen her to work towards betterment of Hindu women, and I gave my consent. We are happy to welcome her.”

Interestingly, a few members from the SRS had attacked a pub called Amnesia in Mangalore on January 24, 2009. In this infamous pub attack, the members were seen dragging women out of the pub by their hair, throwing them on the ground, molesting, slapping and beating, according to some of the witnesses. Defending the attack, Pravin Valke, a founding member of SRS had said, “These girls come from all over India, drink, smoke, and walk around in the night, spoiling the traditional girls of Mangalore. A girl from Punjab was drugged, raped, and killed last month. There was no hue and cry then. Why should girls go to the pubs? Are they going to serve their future husbands alcohol? Should they not be learning to make chapattis? Bars and pubs should be for men only. We wanted to ensure that all women in Mangalore are home by 7 pm.”  

Also Read: Who is the Mastermind Behind the Assassinations of the Rationalists?

This was a mission of the SRS against what the organisation had called ‘cultural invasion’. The groups claimed that the women were violating traditional Indian values. Two women were hospitalised for the injuries they sustained. However, nine years following the attack, in March 2018, all the accused, including Muthalik were acquitted by a judicial magistrate, citing lack of evidence.

The Mangalore pub attack is an example of what Muthalik and his organisation means by “betterment of Hindu women”.

Sri Rama Sene and its criminals

SRS was founded as a Hindutva extremist organisation that would oppose the “soft-Hindutva agenda” of the Sangh Parivar. Though the organisation received attention during the infamous Mangalore pub attacks, it has also allegedly been involved in several cases of saffron terror. The Sene is named in at least in three terror-related cases, apart from several cases of extortion, political murders and cases of creation of communal disharmony. The most recent case in which the SRS is named is that of the political assassination of Gauri Lankesh. Parashuram Waghmare of SRS, who was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Karnataka, has confessed to assassination of the activist-journalist.

It was, however, in 2008, that the name of SRS got associated with the terror activities. Nagaraj Jambagi, an activist of SRS was arrested in an act of terror – of bombing a court in Hubli district on May 10, 2008. Their plan was to kill the alleged SIMI activists who were scheduled to be brought to the Hubli court for hearing.

SRS has also been mentioned in the chargesheet submitted by the Maharashtra Police in the case of 2006 Malegaon blast. There was no evidence found against Mutalik during the course of investigation apart from a transcript of a telephone conversation of Lt Colonel Shrikant Purohit – a prime accused in the case – with Mutalik, congratulating him for his dedication. However, following the blast, Mutalik had made an inflammatory speech at an event, ‘Hindu Dharma Jagruthi Sabhe,’ organised by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) in Mangalore. He had said, “The Malegaon (blast) incident is just a jhalak (curtain-raiser) for similar events in the future.” In the same speech, he had also said, “Imagine what we can achieve if every Hindu woman gives up the cooking ladle for a bomb?”

On January 1, 2012, a communal riot broke out in town of Sindagi in Bijapur district. SRS and Bajrang Dal had also called for a bandh against hoisting of a Pakistan flag on the tehsildar’s office. The police later arrested six activists of SRS for hoisting the flag with an intention of instigating communal violence.

Also Read: The Cursed Practice of "Made Made Snana"

The Sangh Parivar and Hindutva terrorism

The RSS and its affiliates have always distanced themselves from the Hindutva extremist organisations like SRS, Sanatan Sanstha (SS) and HJS. Nevertheless, it looks like the Sangh stands behind these organisations in support during the times of crisis. Shekhar, a member of one of the organisations affiliated to Sangh Parivar, commenting on the arrests made in the case of Mangalore pub attacks had admitted this. He had said, “No case will stand against the boys who attacked the pub. The Sangh will stand firm behind the boys, providing all the support they need. After the church attacks last year, Christian conversions have reduced. The Sangh does not do anything without methodical planning.” Nine years later, this has come true.

SRS functions with full impunity just like SS does because the Sangh Parivar and their political arm BJP will shield them in the times of crisis. These organisations are recruited by the Sangh Parivar to reach out to common people, and create a divide between Hindus and Muslims and other minority religions. They can also be spotted campaigning for the Hindu right wing political party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). With the BJP ruling at the Centre, these organisations have become powerful, and are no longer fringe groups in the country that can be ignored.

When in early 90s, SS was founded in Goa in the garb of ‘spirituality’, no heed was paid to it. Decades later, the widespread terror network of SS, killing the voices against Hindutva and plotting explosions across the country is exposed. Left unattended and with the political patronage, SS in a short time has grown into a full-fledged terrorist organisation. SRS is the one in the making. Will SRS which has sparked various riots, and is seen being involved in violent moral policing incidents across the state and its activities be checked? Will the Hindutva terror ever be investigated?

Also Read: Waghmare’s Confession: Killed Gauri Lankesh to “Save Hindutva”

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