After the arrest of sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and two of her associates in connection with the Malegaon blast, police have been questioning two ex-servicemen who are believed to have provided the group ‘guidance’.
A source said both the ex-servicemen were once associated with the Bhonsala Military School in Nashik. The school is the brainchild of Dr Balkrishna Shivramji Moonje, who established the Central Hindu Military Education Society (CHMES) at Nashik in 1935. Dr Moonje, a firm believer of Indianisation of the armed forces and the indispensability of military training for Indian youth, started the Bhonsala Military School on June 12, 1937. In 1995, the school was granted affiliation by the Indian Public Schools Conference. The school is located on 50 hectares of land at Nashik and is popularly known as Rambhoomi as there is a Ram temple on the premises.
The premises also house Marathi- and English-medium schools. But these do not impart military training. Recently, the Bhonsala Military College was also started. The school and the college attract students from all over the country.
The Bhonsala Military School imparts training in physical activities such as horse-riding, swimming, and shooting. The society also conducts summer camps for boys and winter camps for girls. A source said most of the office-bearers of the CHMES support the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The Bhonsala Military School has a branch at Panchawati in Nagpur. The school was inaugurated on June 28, 1996, by then chief minister of Maharashtra Manohar Joshi. It shifted to its own premises at Panchawati near Village Chakki Khapa, Koradi, Nagpur, on November 15, 1999.