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Poll: 58 pc think Hindu terrorism a reality

CNN-IBN
Oct 24, 2008 at 09:27am IST

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Extremist Hindu groups may be involved in terrorist-style bomb attacks, security officials suspect.

The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) squad of Maharashtra Police has detained four members of the Hindu Jagran Manch for the bomb explosions in Malegaon, Maharashtra, and Modasa, Gujarat, on September 29.

ALSO SEE Cops' take on Malegaon, Modasa blasts

The supporters of the Hindu Jagaran Manch, a front for an outfit named the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, allegedly targeted mosques to avenge earlier bomb explosions blamed on Islamic militants.

Security officials also suspect that workers of Bajrang Dal, which is part of the Sangh Parivar, have been trained in bomb making and they have targeted mosques in Parbhani, Jalna and Purna in Maharashtra. In August 2008, two Bajrang Dal members died in a mysterious explosion in Kanpur.

Does India’s next terrorist threat come from militant Hindu groups? And is there a conspiracy of silence when it comes to potential Hindu terror groups?

CNN-IBN’s Sagarika Ghose asked this on Face The Nation to Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, BJP MP and editor-in-chief of The Pioneer Chandan Mitra, CPI-M MP Brinda Karat, and Samajwadi Party MP Virendra Bhatia.

Karat demanded that it is time the government acted against extremist Hindu groups. “A terrorist is a terrorist regardless of caste or creed. The Maharashtra Police has come to the conclusion through its investigation that a particular extremist Hindu outfit is responsible for bomb blasts. The Bajrang Dal has already been investigated and found guilty of bomb blasts,” she said.

The BJP and its associate groups rave and rant against Islamic terror. What’s their view on Hindu terror?

Hindu terrorism is the action of just a few people, who could be avenging Islamic terrorism, said Mitra. “Hindus are over 80 per cent of the population and it is quite possible that among them some individuals have attempted to avenge wide-spread jehadi terror which has been unleashed in the country for over 50 years. The law must take its course against them.”

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Don’t blame the BJP or Bajrang Dal though, said Mitra. “There is no conspiracy of silence but eloquence. You don’t need rocket science to make bombs. Misguided individuals and miscreants have been making bombs.”

The BJP’s is clear about its opinion but the Congress is yet to comment on allegation of terrorism against Hindu groups. Is the silence deliberate?

No, said Singhvi. “There is not the slightest confusion (in the Congress). The Congress doesn’t like to use the word Hindu or Muslim terrorist. A terrorist is just a terrorist. There is no question of the Congress taking a different approach to Hindu organisations (accused of terrorism),” he said.

But are Hindu terror groups are in the same league as Islamic jehadi groups?

“The law of the country makes no difference between jehadi terrorism or crude-bomb terrorism. Terror is terror,” said Karat.

The law doesn’t make a difference in varieties of terrorism but there is a difference of scale, said Mitra. “Look at the number of people killed because of senseless jehadi terrorism,” he said.

Will the BJP accept that there are Hindu groups which have turned into Frankenstein’s monster and need to be controlled?

“If the monsters have got created the BJP has nothing do with it. There are various individuals and groups with a lot of angst and who may have suffered because of jehadi terrorist. The BJP has nothing to do with them,” said Mitra.

SP leader Bhatia demanded that the government policy should be clear: don’t differentiate between religions and treat Hindu terrorist groups as severely as jehadi groups.

SMS/Web poll results: Is there a conspiracy of silence when it comes to potential Hindu terror groups?

No 58 per cent, Yes 42 per cent.

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