BJP: Sonia, Rahul must apologise for defaming Hindus
Cong: Never used ‘saffron terror’, it doesn’t exist
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