Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde Friday sought to distance himself from Rahul Gandhiís controversial remarks about Pakistani agencies approaching Muslim youth affected by the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar, even as intelligence sources denied the Congress vice-presidentís claims saying they have no such inputs.
ďI do not want to comment on the issue,Ē Shinde said when asked about Rahulís claim.
The home minister, it is learnt, was briefed by top IB and MHA officials that there is no proof on paper of Pakistani intelligence agencies getting in touch with Muzaffarnagar riot victims and that they were yet to see such an alert.
The internal security division of the home ministry, which deals with such alerts, was also not aware of any such input.
Home ministry officials said they have asked local intelligence units if there is any evidence to suggest that riot victims were approached by Pakistani intelligence agencies. However, they added that there were instances in the past when incidents such as the 2002 Gujarat riots or the demolition of the Babri Masjid had been used to indoctrinate Muslim youth.
Intelligence sources said action would be taken on such inputs if they existed.
Addressing a public rally in Indore Thursday, Rahul had said an intelligence officer who had met him two days earlier had told him that Pakistani intelligence agencies had approached young Muslim men who had lost members of their families in Muzaffarnagar riots.
ďThere are 10 to 15 such Mussalman boys whose brothers and sisters were killed in the riots and who were approached by Pakistani agencies,Ē he had said.
Significantly, the AICC minority department also did not share the party vice-presidentís assessment.
Asked whether he agreed with the perception that communal riot victims could be recruited by terror outfits, Congress minority department chief Khurshid Ahmed Saiyed, who belongs to Gujarat, said: ďGujarat se kabhi koi terrorist paida nahin hua. Gujarat ke musalmanon pe zulm hone ke baavajood, 12 saal ho gaye abhi tak koi terrorist paida nahin hua...(no terrorist has been born in Gujarat so far. Despite the atrocities on Muslims in Gujarat, it