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No such thing as ‘saffron terror’, says Congress after BJP’s accusation

Soon after the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict, the BJP accused the Congress of “defaming” the Hindu religion by coining the term “saffron terror” and demanded apologies from Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2018 19:18 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service, New Delhi
Saffron terror,Congress,Bharatiya Janata Party
File photo of Congress spokesman PL Punia. (HT Photo)

The Congress on Monday said neither its president Rahul Gandhi nor any other party functionary ever used the term “saffron terror” and that its adversaries were levelling baseless allegations in this regard.

“Show me a video or a sound clip where Rahul Gandhi or any other Congress functionary is seen using the term ‘Bhagva aatankwad’ (saffron terror). There is no such thing as saffron terror,” Congress spokesman PL Punia said.

“We believe that terrorism cannot be associated with any religion or community,” he added.

The Congress’ response came after a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Hyderabad acquitted all five accused in the city’s Mecca Masjid blast case in which nine persons were killed and 50 injured during the Friday prayers in 2007.

Hindu right-wing group Abhinav Bharat members Nabakumar Sarkar alias Swamy Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajender Chowdhary, who were charged by the NIA, were all acquitted.

However, Punia said questions remained over how the confessional statements and many other documents went missing from the prosecution’s files.

“But it won’t be proper to comment before going through the complete order of the court. But the court has said that the prosecution has failed to prove the case,” Punia said.

Soon after the court’s order, the BJP accused the Congress of “defaming” the Hindu religion by coining the term “saffron terror” and demanded apologies from Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

First Published: Apr 16, 2018 19:17 IST