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Sadhvi?s dig at Christian missionaries

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 17:31 IST

VHP LEADER Sadhvi Ritambhara has said that though every service deserves praise it cannot be commended if done as a deal. She stated this during her cross-examination held at Sunder Hotel on Monday when government advocate S L Ukas asked her whether she commended humanitarian services launched by Christian missionaries in the country.

The Sadhvi gave her statements in the presence of Commissioner Ved Prakash Shukla, who has been designated by district court to take her statements on record. The Sadhvi has filed a civil suit through her counsel Naresh Maheshwari and Sanjay Tiwari charging former chief minister Digvijay Singh and 26 government officials under him for her illegal detention after she allegedly gave an inflammatory speech at Udai Nagar near Bagli in Dewas district on April 23, 1995.

Asked whether she would equate the Christian missionary work with Putana (who poisoned her breast to kill baby Lord Krishna) and whom Hindu community holds in irreverence, the Sadhvi said that people whose actions vary from their target are designated as Putana.

To another question from Ukas, she agreed that no religion preached hatred. “But the fact cannot be denied that religious frenzy is creating terror across the globe.” When queried whether she would issue fatwa against person who humiliates Hindu gods, as a section of minority religious head had done against English author Salman Rushdie, Ritambhara said, “We have no tradition to issue fatwas.”

Denying that she said anything derogatory against Christians or Muslims during her speech at Udai Nagar, Ritambhara stated that she did not apply for the bail following her arrest, as her detention was illegal and she wanted to prove it to the court.

“It was done with malafide intention because my public awareness campaign hurt the vested interest of those who had adopted appeasement policy.

(My) detention was a despicable attempt by people with feudalistic mindset, who, in a democratic set-up, misused their power to obstruct the flow of Hindu Sanatan culture,” she exclaimed.

The Sadhvi said she was unaware of BJP and RSS hand in the murder of a Christian nun that took place in Bagli before she addressed the Hindu sammelan. Advocate Arvind Nigam appeared on behalf of Indore Development Authority and Chitranjan Chhajed appearing for Railways also cross-examined her. Advocates Shekhar Bhargava and S K Lad appearing on behalf of Digvijay Singh did not turn up and sent an application that they did not have documents to argue.

While she was brought back to Bagli from Gwalior jail in Kerala Express, she was asked to disembark from the train at Sukhi Sevaniya station near Bhopal and was made to walk for about three kilometers before an IDA car brought her to Indore. While cross-examining, Chhajed stated that Railways had no malafide intention towards her and it was the government’s directive to disembark her.

Although the case has been filed before twentieth ADJ Subodh Jain, her cross-examination was held at Sunder hotel instead of district court due to security reasons. The next cross-examination session will be held next month.