Chidambaram clarifies, but stands by statement on saffron terror | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Chidambaram clarifies, but stands by statement on saffron terror

delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2010 17:42 IST
saffron terror

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has clarified his statement on "saffron terror" but he isn't apologetic about it.

"The message (behind saffron terror remark) is right wing fundamentalist groups are suspected to be behind some bomb blasts," said Chidambaram at a press conference on Wednesday.

"I cannot claim the patent on the phrase. The phrase has been used in the past," he said.

He was asked about the objection raised by the BJP in parliament after Chidambaram cautioned security and intelligence officials at an internal security meeting against "recently uncovered phenomenon of saffron terrorism".

"The message is that rightwing fundamentalist groups are suspected to be behind some bomb blasts. These are religious fundamentalist groups. The message ought not to be lost in phrases. And perhaps the use of that phrase has brought the message home. So, the purpose in a way has been served," he said.

"There is no let up in attempts to radicalise young men and women in India. Besides, there is the recently uncovered phenomenon of saffron terrorism that has been implicated in many bomb blasts of the past," Chidambaram had said at a police conference on August 26.

The statement led to strong protests by the BJP and the Shiv Sena. Senior Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi, too, said terrorism doesn't have any colour.

"Saffron or bhagwa or kesariya (Hindi equivalents of saffron) is not the issue here. The issue is terrorism. Terrorism does not have any colour other than black," said Dwivedi, Congress general secretary and head of the party's media department, on August 28.

Sensing the sensitivity of the issue, Chidambaram said the Congress party's views on the matter would prevail. "The party is supreme," he said.