Mounting pressure on the Modi government to act against journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik for meeting 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, BJP ally Shiv Sena today said the Centre cannot just shrug off its responsibility in the matter.
"Just saying that the government has nothing to do with the meeting won't suffice. Had it been a Congress government and any journalist would have met Hafiz or Dawood Ibrahim, BJP would have attacked the government," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.
"But today we are in power. So just saying that the government has nothing to do with this won't do. What is needed is to go to the bottom of the issue," the Sena said.
"There should not be any Hindu-Muslim discrimination as this is a matter of national security. If the journalist is let off, tomorrow anyone will go and enjoy biryani with Dawood, Tiger Memon and Saeed," the newspaper said.
"The Modi government has begun well. It should not face problem because of misadventure of an individual. It is good that the External Affairs Minister condemned the meeting in Parliament," the Sena said.
Meeting Saeed, the country's enemy, is "treason" and the government should take stern action against the journalist, it said.
Who gave Vaidik the authority to comment on issues pertaining to India's sovereignty and integrity?, it asked.
"We are amazed by the behaviour of Pakistan government and the ISI. How come the Pak government, which refuses visa to ordinary Indians, was so generous with Vaidik," the Sena said.
Vaidik, a freelance journalist, had met Saeed in Lahore on July 2 while touring Pakistan along with a group of journalists and politicians who had been invited by a peace research institute.