Alleging that the raids on the Popular Front of India by the National Investigation Agency were a ploy to suppress the voices of Dalits, minorities and the downtrodden, the Karnataka unit of the Social Democratic Party of India, an offshoot of the PFI, questioned why the agency was turning a blind eye to the display of hundreds of guns and other weapons for Puja at RSS offices.
The remark comes days after 21 leaders of the PFI and its affiliate the SDPI were arrested in joint raids carried out by the NIA and Karnataka Police in the state last Thursday.
“RSS is an unregistered organisation. Under whose name are these weapons registered?” SDPI Karnataka general secretary Bhaskar Prasad asked at a press conference, wondering why such display of weapons did not warrant any investigation or raids.
Daring the NIA to carry out raids on the RSS and its affiliates over their involvement in “anti-national activities” in the past, the SDPI leader further questioned the NIA over its inaction against the RSS over its “transactions worth crores of rupees.”
“How can an unregistered organisation perform transactions worth crores (of rupees)? Is the NIA blind to this? Is the RSS an independent organisation or a lapdog of the government?” Bhaskar asked.
The leader further alleged that the affidavit filed by former RSS leader Yeshwanth Shinde mentioned that he was among those involved in bomb blasts carried out across the country. “The SDPI is a cause of worry for the BJP and RSS as it was gaining ground among the oppressed sections. What have they found in the nationwide raids? If they had found anything, wouldn’t they have announced it already?” he said.
An SDPI leader further said that the NIA conducted the raids with an eye on the next elections.
Addressing demands of a ban on the PFI and its affiliates, including the SDPI, Karnataka SDPI vice-president Devanuru Puttananjaiah asked whether minorities could not have a political party. He further argued that imposing a ban on the party would set a wrong precedent that could allow similar action against other political parties as well.