Rahul feels Hindu radicals bigger threat than LeT, reveals WikiLeaks

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 18 2010, 06:07am hrs
Kicking up a political storm in the country, a leaked US diplomatic cable quotes Rahul Gandhi as saying that Hindu radical groups pose a bigger threat to India than the Lashkar-e-Toiba as they create religious tensions with the Muslim community.

Another US cable, put out by WikiLeaks, criticises Sonia Gandhis leadership in the run-up to the civil nuclear Bill in Parliament in 2007 and describes CPM leader Prakash Karat as an extortionist.

In a conversation with US ambassador Timothy Roemer in July last year, Rahul Gandhi is quoted as saying that while there is evidence of local support for the LeT in India, the greater threat for the country is the growth of radicalism within the Hindu community.

Responding to the Ambassadors query about Lashkar-e-Toibas activities in the region and immediate threat to India, Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in Indias indigenous Muslim community. However, Gandhi warned, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community, stated the leaked cable.

The cable is based on a conversation between Roemer and Rahul on July 20 last year during a lunch hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for visiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Roemer has commented that the Congress leader was referring to the tensions created by some of the more polarizing figures in the BJP like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The risk of a home-grown extremist front, reacting to terror attacks coming from Pakistan or from Islamist groups in India, was a growing concern and one that demanded constant attention, the cable quoted Rahul as saying.

In another cable on the political situation in the country in the run-up to the civil nuclear Bill in Parliament, Sonia Gandhi is described as someone who never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to show real leadership. The critical analysis comments on Sonias failure to show principled leadership.

With the future of Indian foreign credibility hanging in balance, Sonia Gandhi has been unable to show principled leadership even when it might benefit her party at the polls and reveal Prakash Karat to be the extortionist he is. Mrs Gandhi never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, stated a note dated November 6, 2007.

On the other hand, the detailed account of Roemers conversation with the young Congress leader goes on to reveal that Rahul thought the honeymoon period of the UPA was over.

India condones torture in J&K, N-E

A secret US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks on a confidential Red Cross survey in Kashmir and the North-East describes torture methods allegedly being used by security forces in detention centres, including sexual assaults on prisoners, crushing muscles and electrocution. In a detailed briefing to US the embassy by an unnamed official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which they admit is in violation of the confidentiality agreement with the Indian government, in April 2005, the organisation says that while the human rights situation in Kashmir is much better than it was in the 1990s, there is widespread use of torture by security forces during interrogation. According to the cable, the ICRC conducted a survey of 1,491 detainees in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East and found that 45% of them were subjected to various forms of torture, including sexual assault.