RSS holds nationwide protests against Hindu terror tag
Hundreds of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activists, led by their top leaders, Wednesday staged protests in several places across India against the central government's alleged "political conspiracy" to link the group to terror activities.delhi Updated: Nov 10, 2010 15:25 IST
Hundreds of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activists, led by their top leaders, Wednesday staged protests in several places across India against the central government's alleged "political conspiracy" to link the group to terror activities.
Protests were held in various state capitals and district headquarters, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav told IANS.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat led the protestors in Lucknow while general secretary Suresh Joshi addressed a rally in Hyderabad. Demonstrations were also held across Punjab, Haryana and Orissa.
In Delhi, MPs Prakash Javadekar and Balbir K. Punj were among those who participated in the sit-ins.
The protests come in the wake of RSS leader Indresh Kumar and other activists being named in the chargesheet in the Ajmer blast case -- three people were killed and 30 injured when explosives kept in a tiffin box exploded at the shrine of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chisthi Oct 11, 2007.
Addressing protestors in Lucknow, Bhagwat said the cases and allegations against the RSS were "baseless and politically motivated".
Even as Bhagwat went on to claim that no RSS activist could be even remotely connected with acts of terror, he disowned all those who were suspected to be involved in such acts.
"Such Hindus who were found to have been associated with terrorist activities could not be even remotely associated with RSS," he said in the speech.
Holding a brief for those against whom there was incontrovertible evidence, the RSS chief sought to add: "I am sure they were falsely implicated."
He also came out strongly in defence of Indresh: "The fact that the investigating agencies had failed to find any concrete evidence against Indresh proved our point that he was being falsely implicated simply because the UPA government wanted to give us a bad name."
This is the first time the RSS chief has led a demonstration. The move was seen in Lucknow as a step towards revivial of the 'Hindutva' card in the aftermath of the Ayodhya verdict that distributed the disputed land three ways.
In Delhi, Punj said the central government was misusing investigative agencies and other institutions to "defame the RSS and its activists".
In Orissa, protests and rallies were held not just in the capital Bhubaneswar but also in places like Cuttack, Rourkela and Sambalpur.
Carrying placards and banners, hundreds of activists staged a sit-in near the Raj Bhavan.
According to Orissa unit general secretary Gopal Prasad Mohapatra, the recent investigations of the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) team probing the Ajmer blast were part of sinister designs to destabilise the country.
Stating that Hindu organisations and religious leaders had been a constant target for several years, he said attempts were afoot to dishonour the Hindu religion.
In response to the call, demonstrations were also held in over 20 places in Punjab.
"Mass dharnas have been organised against hateful and politically motivated anti-Hindu propagandas of some leaders and political parties related with the union government," said Munishwar, general secretary of RSS (Punjab).
"The chargesheet filed by the ATS, Rajasthan, in the Ajmer case and subsequent statements are irresponsible… In the 820-page chargesheet neither has Indresh Kumar been named as accused nor are there are any formal charges against him. But the ATS is still harassing him," RSS spokesperson Kishor Kant said in Jalandhar.
The recent one-day session of the All India Congress Committee in New Delhi had attacked the RSS for its terror links.
"Revelations through detailed investigations have exposed the true character of the RSS and its sister organisations. Communal and terrorist elements, whichever source they may originate from, that aim at destroying our national fabric will be fought at any cost," a party statement said.
First Published: Nov 10, 2010 15:20 IST