The Rajya Sabha today witnessed heated exchanges between treasury benches and Congress members as three BJP lawmakers, including Subramanian Swamy, raised the issue of Samjhauta Express train blast of 2005. Referring to a video of purported narco-test related to the train blast being shown on a TV channel, Shiv Pratap Shukla (BJP) said the blast took place because of involvement of Pakistan. He said the blast on the train which plies between New Delhi and Lahore in Pakistan was carried out by Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and SIMI jointly.
However, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the then UPA government coined a new name “Hindu terrorism”, the BJP member said. Insisting that Hindus cannot be terrorists, Shukla said the then UPA government had “betryaed” the country. Joining the issue, Swamy said the House has the right to know whether it is a “fact that there is a video” and demanded an answer from the government.
As he tried to make his point, Digvijaya Singh (Cong) said it was an effort to save the accused in the blast. This led to heated verbal exchanges between members of the two sides. Another BJP member La Ganesan demanded that Congress should openly tender an apology for coining the term “Hindu terrorism”.
While he was speaking, Digvijaya Singh again tried to make his point. To this, Ganesan said: “Why are you bothered? … I am talking about SIMI”. Singh alleged that there was a “collusion” between the government and the TV channel which has played out the video and said the Home Ministry should authenticate the points raised by BJP members.
To this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he would go through the record and if something has been quoted, it should be authenticated. Pointing to rules, Anand Sharma (Cong) said matters which are pending judicial decisions should not be raised in the House. However, Kurien said it is not possible for the Rajya Sabha office to find if a matter is sub-judice or not.