Left seeks ban on Bajrang Dal over Malegaon blasts

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi Oct 23 | Updated: Oct 25 2008, 05:19am hrs
The echo for a ban on Sangha Parivar outfits like the Bajrang Dal and Hindu Jagran Manch resonated in Parliament on Thursday with the Left as well as some allies of the UPA reiterating the demand in the wake of reports that Hindu groups were found involved in the Malegaon and Modasa blasts.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned briefly on Thursday afternoon after heated exchanges between BJP and Left members when the latter made references to the alleged involvement of the Hindu groups and maintained that there should not be two yardsticks for dealing with the fight against terrorists. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said according to the anti-terror squad of the Maharashtra Police, Bajrang Dal was involved in the incidents.

Media reports on Thursday contended that the Maharashtra Police had found the involvement of members of the right wing Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) in the Malegaon incident in Maharasthtra and in Modasa, neighbouring Gujarat. The Indore-based HJM is known to have links with the BJPs student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Five Muslims were killed in the communally sensitive town of Malegaon, while one person was killed in Modasa in bomb explosions days before Eid.

Intent on making political gains from the controversy, the Congress on Wednesday sought to put the BJP on the mat by pointing out that this was the first time in post-independent era that investigating authorities had named affiliates of a political party in a terrorist act.

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi had said some time back that terrorists would be replied back in the same coin. We now want to know what reply he will be giving to the ABVP and the associated outfits found involved in Malegaon and Modasa Congress spokeperson Shakeel Ahmed said. Ahmed, who is also a minister of state for home affairs, however, refused to say what would be the government action on the matter. The government is still in the process of collecting information, he said.

Rejecting the reports, the BJP responded by saying that political parties levelling such charges lacked credibility as they themselves have supported terrorist organisations in the past. These are those parties who have been proudly protecting SIMI and naxalite outfits. They have no legitimacy and credibility in the eyes of the people, BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was quoted by newsagencies.

Left parties, meanwhile, also took the Manmohan Singh govenrment to task on the issue, alleging it was practising double standards in taking action against different extremist groups. The central government should take uniform action on all and the message should go that nobody will be spared irrespective of his community affiliations. The campaign that terrorists belong to only one community is atrocious and the attempt to target Muslims only is strongly condemnable, Karat said.