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BJP, Congress lock horns over ‘Hindu terror’ issue

Two days after top NIA officials hinted that there was no evidence against Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit in the Samjhauta blast case, a war of words broke out between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress over the ‘Hindu terro
India TV Politics Desk April 23, 2016 8:09 IST
India TV Politics Desk

New Delhi: Two days after top NIA officials hinted that there was no evidence against Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit in the Samjhauta blast case, a war of words broke out between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress over the ‘Hindu terror’ issue, with the latter accusing the former of polarising the country.

The BJP questioned ‘how could the Congress humiliate an entire community through the term Hindu terror’ as it accused former home minister P Chidambaram of ‘compromising national security’ for their political gains.

"In this era of global terrorism, when India is among its biggest victims, the Congress has practised very low-level politics and compromised on national security for its political gains," BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said on Friday.

“The BJP as a party has never associated terrorism with any particular community, sect or religion. But the Congress functionaries, for their political gains, repeatedly used the term 'Hindu terror' and 'saffron terror',” Trivedi said, adding that “How can you associate a colour which is part of our national flag with terrorism?”

In the context of Ishrat Jahan shootout and Samjhauta Express blast, Trivedi said that although the NIA lodged the FIRs in 2011, but the Congress leaders had started using the term 'Hindu terror' back in 2009. “Was it premonition or was it their prejudice coming to the fore,” Trivedi asked.

Raking up the Ishrat Jahan case, Trivedi said that Chidambaram must tell whether he informed - and if yes, at what point - the then prime minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi “when the altered the second affidavit” that made “investigative agencies took a sudden U-turn” on the Ishrat Jahan case.

According to top NIA officials, there was no evidence against Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit in the Samjhauta blast case but the probe was on against him in the Malegaon blast case of 2008. The Ministry of Home Affairs has now said ‘if there were anomalies in the previous investigation corrective steps will be taken.

Trivedi also alleged that the Congress had communalised the country's education system, apart from the process of disbursing bank loans on communal lines.

Alleging dilution of 'Hindu' terror cases, Congress has demanded removal of the NIA chief and suggested that the Supreme Court monitor such cases being handled by the premier investigation agency.

"Is there a shortage of IPS officers, that a retired officer is retained under a contract," party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said, alleging that the Modi government is weakening NIA and putting pressure on the agency.

Kumar alleged that the BJP government is undermining NIA by using it for partisan politics.

"Since the Modi government came to power, an alarming number of witnesses in terror cases like the Samjhauta Express blasts, Ajmer blast & Malegaon blast have turned hostile," he said.

The Congress spokesperson also said the government is trying to get a clean chit to Col Shrikant Purohit, an accused in the Malegaon blasts.