Pravin Togadia, who recently quit the Vishwa Hindu Parishad today hit out at the Centre for suspending security operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan and demanded its withdrawal.
Pravin Togadia, who recently quit the Vishwa Hindu Parishad today hit out at the Centre for suspending security operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan and demanded its withdrawal. Referring to Pakistani shelling that killed civilians and a BSF jawan yesterday in Jammu, the hardline right wing leader said, “Pakistan is waging war in the month of Ramzan and we are talking of peace.” He said, the “Central government’s decision to stop security forces not to use weapons against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan is demoralising and humiliating security forces and encouraging Jihadi terrorism.” Togadia, who after over three decades of association with the VHP quit the organisation on April 14, said, “I condemn this decision of the Central government and demand that it be withdrawn.”
Asking the Centre to get tough with Pakistan, he said Pakistan had nothing to do with Ramzan as it did not hesitate to ‘kill’ civilians and security personnel during the holy month. In a direct attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “Indian Prime Minister is much more concerned with Ramzan and that is hurting the nation.”
His comments come at a time when Narendra Modi is on a visit of Jammu and Kashmir today. Togadia, who had to quit the VHP following reported differences with the RSS for targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Ram temple issue, wanted all trade relations with Pakistan severed including imports. Asked if he would go back to the VHP, he evaded a direct reply and said his resolve to work for the Hindu society continued as before. On the circumstances that forced him to quit the VHP, a key Sangh Parivar outfit, he said “let us look forward,” adding he continued to work for the peace and prosperity of Hindus everywhere. Togadia was here to launch free legal aid, and healthcare services for needy Hindus.
The free services also include providing free rice to indigent among the Hindus, he said adding such services were already available in several States including Kerala in the south and it was now being expanded to Tamil Nadu. The firebrand leader has been critical of the Prime Minister on several issues and he had slammed Modi for calling ‘gau-rakshaks,’ (cow protectors) as ‘gundas’ (goons). On May 16, the Home Ministry had announced conditional suspension of security operations in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit during Ramzan, a move seen as a bid to bring peace and provide a conducive atmosphere in the restive valley.
The Ministry had however said that the security forces, reserved the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had welcomed the Centre’s decision. The move of the Centre is similar to the Non Initiation of Combat Operations announced by the first NDA government, headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, during Ramzan in 2000.