The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday accused Congress of disrespecting Hindus for the use of ‘Hindu terror’ remarks in reference to the Mecca Masjid blast. Launching a sharp attack on the Congress after a court acquitted all accused of 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, BJP said that opposition party’s “appeasement politics” of “defaming” Hindus has been exposed. Addressing media after the verdict, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Congress has long “defamed” Hindus for votes. He further demanded that president Rahul Gandhi and his predecessor Sonia Gandhi apologise for terms such as “saffron terror” and “Hindu terror”.
A special anti-terror court in Hyderabad acquitted Aseemanand and four others in the case, ruling that the prosecution failed to prove charges against them. Linking the verdict to elections, the BJP spokesperson said that people will teach the Congress “a lesson” in the Karnataka Assembly polls. Patra also slammed Congress leaders for blaming the BJP government for the acquittal of the accused. He said that that the opposition party has “double standards” as it had welcomed a court order in favour of accused in the 2G scam case.
The BJP spokesperson pointed out that Congress was in power for seven years after the blasts and asked what it had done during the period. “For its appeasement politics, the Congress targeted and defamed Hindus and the country for merely some votes. That conspiracy has been exposed. The Congress has been exposed like never before,” he said.
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, Patra asked if the Congress chief would lead a candle march to India Gate in midnight and apologise for “defaming” Hindu community.
The BJP further said that former home ministers P Chidambaram, Shivraj Patil and Sushil Kumar Shinde also spoken about “saffron terror” and “Hindu terror”. Once again raking up Karnataka elections, Patra said that Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was also practicing appeasement politics, a euphemism used by the BJP for alleged pro-Muslim politics of some parties.
However, on Congress’ part, former Home Minister Shivraj Patil said that he will not apologise for Hindu terror remarks. “I did not say anything like ‘terror has saffron colour’ why should I apologise,” Patil said. Speaking to ANI, Patil said, “I don’t know what details were there in the chargesheet, have heard the witnesses turned hostile, neither we know what sort of cross-questioning was done.”
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot refrained from commenting on the issue. “It is now up to the Govt to examine order and decide if a further appeal is required. As it is a judicial matter I would not like to comment on it,” Gehlot said.
A massive blast had taken place at Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007, during Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58 others.