Narendra Modi’s apology demanded over Gujarat riots after RAW’s former head writes in his book about Vajpayee’s remarks made after the riots
GN Bureau | July 3, 2015
Congress party has now found its voice to directly attack prime minister Narendra Modi instead of indirect barbs of Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje episodes. On Friday, the party raked up the post- Godhra riots issue against Modi with the claims by former RAW chief AS Dulat's book as principle weapon. It demanded that Modi apologise for the communal violence in 2002 when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
Party spokesman Ajoy Kumar launched a scathing attack on Modi, saying "Dulat says that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee believed that he lost the 2004 elections in view of the Gujarat riots...Bharat Ratna Vajpayee has clearly condemned ...the shameful incidents of 2002." He said it was Vajpayee who had reminded "chief minster Modi to follow raj dharma".
"Will Narendra Modi respect the words of the Bharat Ratna and apologise to the country for 2002?", Kumar asked.
The party also questioned BJP's commitment to fighting terrorism and alleged it was wearing a "mask of nationalism". Citing certain claims by Dulat including on the "goof up" in the IC-814 hijack in 1999, he accused the ruling party of always compromising with terrorists and terrorism.
Kumar said Dulat has brought "certain disturbing facts" in the open including that the Vajpayee government was in "active communication" with the Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin and even admitted his son to a medical course.
"It shows the pseudo-nationalism of the BJP.... Whenever in power, it has compromised with terrorists and terrorism," he alleged, adding that Saluhaddin and his organisation was responsible for the killings of thousands in the country.
Turning to the IC-814 hijack, the Congress spokesman said that Dulat believed that the Crisis Management Group "failed miserably" and allowed the plane to leave Amritsar which led to the release of three dreaded terrorists.
In 1999, IC-814, which was en route from Kathmandu to New Delhi, was hijacked by terrorist group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan. The crisis lasted for seven days and ended after India agreed to release three militants - Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Maulana Masood Azhar.
It should be made clear as to under what circumstances the plane was allowed to leave Amritsar and who was responsible for that, the Congress spokesperson asked.
He said that the tradeoff proved costly as the release of the three terrorists resulted in the killing of thousands of people with Masood Azhar leading the campaign of hate from Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that the main concern of Vajpayee-led government during the hijack incident was to secure the lives of the Indians in the plane. It reminded that the decision taken at that point of time had the consensus of all the political parties.
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