NEW DELHI: Recent developments in ‘Hindutva terror‘ cases, where key prosecution witnesses recanted and investigators claimed that inquiries were manipulated, has seen BJP launch a concerted attack on Congress, accusing it of concocting ‘Hindu terrorism’ to play minority politics.
The account of US citizen David Headley, a Lashkar operative convicted in the 26/11 case, the change of stance of a key witness in the Malegaon blasts case and fresh revelations about alleged manipulation of the Ishrat Jahan case to obscure the Mumbra teen’s terror links have seen BJP virtually accuse Congress of creating a Hindu terror bogey to court the minority vote.
“Use of such phrases by top Congress members even when investigations were not complete and there was no report or a court’s verdict raises a big question about their intentions, makes it appear that this was not the natural outcome of investigation. It was a deliberate attempt to play vote bank politics and a case of political prejudice,” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi told the media on Friday.
Trivedi alleged that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had first expressed the view that saffron extremism was a greater threat to India – an allusion to a Wikileaks cable that came to light in 2010 about Rahul’s interaction with the US ambassador. The BJP spokesperson also referred to former home minister Sushil Shinde’s remarks about “Hindu terrorism”, comments denied by the Congress member.
Home minister P Chidambaram had overseen a cynical change in the Centre’s affidavit on the case relating to Ishrat and three others who were part of a Lashkar module, Trivedi said.
Trivedi’s salvo followed commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comments directly accusing Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul of backing a plan to implicate Narendra Modi in a fake encounter case even if it meant ignoring a terror plot intended to eliminate the then Gujarat chief minister.
The hard hitting statements are intended to turn the tables on Congress by using leaks and RTI revelations as BJP members feel UPA era cases were intended to embarrass the saffron party. By suggesting Congress had acted in an “anti-Hindu” manner to serve its political ends, BJP leaders are looking to put the main opposition on the defensive.
After the Headley testimony and the NIA report, the twists in the Malegaon case where a Hindutva group was named as accused has come handy for BJP which has pointed to comments of retired Maharashtra ATS officials who said original leads pointing to the involvement of SIMI and Pakistan-trained persons were overturned.