New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday backed Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's comment on terror, saying his remark was factually correct and phrases used by him should not be used to divert attention. "Our stated position is fully shared by the Home Minister. His statements are based on facts," Shinde said.
He added that any form of violence was not good for India. "Any form of violence by extremists of any kind, irrespective of religion is not good for India," Khurshid said. "We should not be distracted by a phrase here and there. Terror does not have a religion. It should not have a colour. Those are the facts available to the home ministry," he added.
This came after the BJP demanded that Shinde be sacked for alleging involvement of the BJP and the RSS in terror activities and using the phrase 'Hindu terror'. Shinde had said, "Training camps of both BJP and RSS are promoting Hindu terrorism...whether it is Samjhauta blast or Mecca Masjid blast or Malegaon blast, they plant bombs and blame it on the minorities."
Earlier on Monday, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh had also backed Shinde's remark, but added that the phrase 'Hindu terror' was wrongly used instead of 'Sanghi terror'. Digvijaya said, "The Home Minister has withdrawn his remarks. His facts were right, but not words."
The statement of Shinde also had an unusual supporter, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, who praised him for his remark. "Shinde has spoken truth finally. We consider this a help from Allah for Pakistan which is always (accused) by India for terrorism," said Saeed.
The BJP demanded the sacking of Shinde over his statement and called for a nationwide protest on January 24. "The Home Minister is saying that RSS is involved in terror activities without any evidence. Shinde should either give proof of his statement or apologise before the nation for his comment," said the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Reacting to the allegations of the Union Home Minister, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said that it intended to influence the investigations. Hitting out at Shinde, he said, "The Home Minister of our country spoke in such language calling Hindus as terrorists, it is unpardonable, we take very strong exception to it. I believe that the statement of the Home Minister is actually intended to influence the investigations that are going on into the bomb blast cases."
- Digvijaya Singh backs Shinde, but says the use of the term 'Hindu terror' was not right
- RSS behind Samjhauta, Malegaon blasts: Shinde