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UK gives clean chit to RSS, VHP

world Updated: Nov 20, 2008 02:04 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times
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Britain gave an all-clear chit to the RSS, Bajrang Dal and VHP during two debates in the House of Lords on the anti-Christian riots in Orissa and terrorism in Britain.

In response to Lord Chris Patten's question to the government whether it classifies the RSS and its youth wing, the Dal, as terrorist organisations, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office Lord Malloch-Brown said in writing that the government did not consider the two to be terrorist organisations.

The minister said neither organisation was proscribed in the UK or in India. Any decision to ban them in the UK must be based on evidence that they are involved in terrorism as defined in the Terrorism Act, 2000.

Lord Patten had also asked whether the British government would ensure that RSS and Bajrang Dal members were prevented from entering the UK. Lord Malloch-Brown found no reason to ban their entry. He said, “Membership of an organisation does not in itself provide grounds for refusing entry to the UK. Where there is evidence that the presence in the UK of a particular individual would not be conducive to the public good, consideration will be given to denying entry.”

Lord Anderson said on November 17 in the House of Lords during a 24-minute debate on terrorism that the VHP was said to have incited violence. Pointing out that the VHP, with branches in Britain, had made inflammatory statements, he asked, “Will my noble friend consider referring the VHP UK to the Charities Commission to examine its status?”

Lord Bach of the ministry of Justice said in response, “The UK government does not consider the VHP to be a terrorist organisation under our law. I am sorry that I must disappoint my noble friend on this occasion.”