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Digvijaya says Telangana cops encouraging Muslims to join IS, sparks row

Digvijaya Singh has accused Telangana Police of setting up a bogus IS site to trap Muslim youth.

india Updated: May 01, 2017 17:28 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Digvijaya Singh,Telangana Police,Islamic State
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh is known for his controversial statements.(Sonu Mehta /HT photo)

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh on Monday triggered a controversy, alleging that the Telangana Police were trapping Muslim youth by encouraging them to join Islamic State.

In a series of tweets, Singh, who is the Congress in-charge of Telangana and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, alleged that the police in the southern state had set up a bogus ISIS site and were posting inflammatory information to trap young Muslim men.

“It was on their information that MP (Madhya Pradesh) police arrested accused who were responsible for the bomb blast in train in Shajapur District of MP. It also resulted in Saifullaha encounter in Kanpur the same day,” he said.

The senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister was talking about a suspected IS man who was killed in an anti-terror operation in Lucknow in early March.

Singh, who was on Saturday relieved of Karnataka and Goa charge for his inept handling of party units, questioned if Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had authorised his police to ensnare Muslim youth.

It is not clear what brought about the outburst from the Congress leader who addressed a public meeting in Telangana’s Warangal district on Sunday.

“Is it ethical? Is it moral? Has KCR authorised Telangana Police to trap Muslim Youths and encourage them to join ISIS?” he tweeted, referring to the terror group by its other name, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Rao should order an investigation and punish those responsible for the “heinous crime” and if police were following his orders, he should take responsibility and resign, he said.

Telangana minister for information technology and industries KT Rama Rao, who is the chief minister’s son, demanded that the Congress leader withdraw his comments unconditionally. “Most irresponsible & reprehensible thing coming from a former CM. Request you to withdraw these comments unconditionally or provide evidence,” he tweeted.

Telangana police chief Anurag Sharma refuted Singh’s charges. “I don’t know on what basis he (Digvijay Singh) has made such wild allegations. They are utterly baseless and we strongly deny his comments,” he told HT.

The Telangana Police had never said they were behind the arrest of those responsible for the bomb blast in Madhya Pradesh. “We are doing our duty sincerely. We are offended with his comments,” the director general of police said.

On March 8, the UP anti-terrorist squad killed a suspected IS member Saifullah allegedly on a tip-off provided by the Telangana Police.

Saifullah was linked to a blast in a Bhopal-Ujjain train in MP in which 10 persons were injured.

This is the second time in a week that comments by Singh, who is known to shoot his mouth off, have triggered a row. Hours after Maoists killed 25 Central Reserve Police Personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma on April 24, Singh accused chief minister Raman Singh of “helping” the insurgents.

First Published: May 01, 2017 14:22 IST