BJP: So­nia, Rahul must apol­o­gise for de­fam­ing Hin­dus

Cong: Never used ‘saf­fron ter­ror’, it doesn’t ex­ist

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | MECCA MASJID CASE - NEWS NET­WORK NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: BJP said on Mon­day that the ac­quit­tal of five ac­cused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, in­clud­ing saf­fron ac­tivist Swami Asee­m­anand, has ex­posed Congress’s “politics of ap­pease­ment” and its defama­tion of Hin­dus through false nar­ra­tives about “saf­fron ter­ror” to serve po­lit­i­cal goals.

BJP said the ac­cused had been framed to cre­ate a false equiv­a­lence of “Hindu ter­ror” and was part of Congress’s po­lit­i­cal project to tar the ma­jor­ity com­mu­nity. BJP spokesman Sam­bit Pa­tra al­leged Congress has long “de­famed” Hin­dus for votes and de­manded that Rahul Gandhi and his pre­de­ces­sor So­nia Gandhi apol­o­gise for terms such as “saf­fron ter­ror” and “Hindu ter­ror”. The ver­dict pro­vided am­mu­ni­tion to BJP com­ing as it does ahead of the Kar­nataka polls and at­tacks on the party for giv­ing a com­mu­nal colour to the Kathua rape-mur­der.

Tak­ing a dig at Rahul, Pa­tra won­dered if he (Rahul) would lead a can­dle march to In­dia Gate and apol­o­gise for his at­tempts to “de­fame” Hin­dus as he had done to protest against the Kathua and Un­nao crimes.

Pa­tra said peo­ple will teach Congress a re­sound­ing les­son in the Kar­nataka assem­bly polls as they had in the 2014 Lok Sabha elec­tions. Pa­tra brought up com­ments by Congress lead­ers, in­clud­ing a Wik­ileaks ca­ble that re­ported that Rahul had opined in a chat with US diplo­matic staff that rad­i­calised Hindu groups posed a big­ger dan­ger to the coun­try that Is­lamists.

Former home min­is­ters P Chi­dambaram, Shivraj Patil and Sushilku­mar Shinde had also spo­ken about “saf­fron ter­ror”, Pa­tra al­leged, adding that Kar­nataka CM Sid­dara­ma­iah was a prac­ti­tioner of ap­pease­ment politics to garner Mus­lim votes. New Delhi: Congress said on Mon­day that its party func­tionar­ies never used the phrase ‘saf­fron ter­ror’, as­sert­ing that ter­ror can­not be linked to any re­li­gion or com­mu­nity, in re­sponse to BJP’s charge that it had ma­ligned the ma­jor­ity com­mu­nity.

AICC spokesman P L Pu­nia said, “Show me a video or a sound clip where Rahul Gandhi or any other Congress func­tionary is seen us­ing the term “bhag­vaaatankwad” (saf­fron ter­ror). There is no such thing as saf­fron ter­ror,” he said.

Leader of op­po­si­tion in Ra­jya Sabha and se­nior Con­gress­man Ghu­lam Nabi Azad ques­tioned the func­tion­ing of the NIA. “It (ac­quit­tal) is hap­pen­ing in each case since the govern­ment was formed four years ago... peo­ple are los­ing faith in agen­cies,” he told TV chan­nels.

Pu­nia said, “We be­lieve ter­ror­ism can­not be as­so­ci­ated with any re­li­gion or com­mu­nity” while re­act­ing to the ac­quit­tals, in­clud­ing that of Asee­m­anand. The party’s stand seems to stem from BJP al­le­ga­tions that the us­age of ‘ Hindu ter­ror’ in past was es­sen­tially in­tended to woo mi­nor­ity sup­port by rais­ing the is­sue of Hindu ex­trem­ism and BJP-RSS links.

Re­ject­ing the charge, Pu­nia said, “It is mere rub­bish. There is noth­ing called saf­fron ter­ror. It is a crim­i­nal men­tal­ity which leads to crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.”

Asked about the ac­quit­tals, Pu­nia said they will as­sess the judg­ment first and then dis­cuss it. “How­ever, in pre­lim­i­nary re­ports it has been stated that ev­i­dence was not pro­vided and con­fes­sional state­ment is missing among other doc­u­ments. There seems some fail­ure on the part of pros­e­cu­tionIt would be proper to talk about it later af­ter the judg­ment comes,” he said.

Nearly Mecca Masjid is a sym­bol of com­mu­nal har­mony. Ran­ga­iah Chowd­hury, while the en­gi­neer was Faizul­lah Baig The mosque was ready dur­ing Au­rangzeb’s regime in 1694

Sam­bit Pa­tra and Ghu­lam Nabi Azad

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