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Nov 18, 2008 at 03:04am IST

Ex-Guv targeted for supporting Yatris: BJP

New Delhi: Defending former Jammu and Kashmir governor S K Sinha, against whom allegations of links with Malegaon blast accused Dayanand Pandey have been made, BJP on Monday claimed Sinha was being targeted as he espoused the cause of Amarnath pilgrims.

"Simply because General Sinha, former governor of Jammu and Kashmir and Assam, was the architect of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, espousing the valid cause of Amarnath yatris, he cannot be dragged into a controversy," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said in a press statement.

The BJP MP said this accusation against a retired army officer was an attempt to dent the "fine balanced fabric of the Armed forces".

UNDER FIRE: BJP says Sinha is being targeted for espousing the cause of Amarnath pilgrims.

"Can't a Hindu soldier be a devout Hindu or a Christian soldier be a devout Christian or for that matter a Muslim soldier be a devout Muslim?" Rudy asked.

PDP and National Conference leaders have accused Sinha of being close to Pandey and even hosting him at the Raj Bhawan during his tenure as governor. Sinha has vehemently denied these allegations.

Arguing that every soldier had a right to practice his religion, Rudy said, "By this account every soldier joining the armed forces would be required to give a disclaimer on his religion, destroying the basic ethos of the armed forces."

Rudy said the demand for a probe when the alleged connection has been openly denied is "simply outlandish".

The BJP spokesperson also took a dig at the Congress, accusing it of "playing a very dangerous game" by firing a salvo from the shoulders of these leaders.

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