BJP defends Vinay Katiyar, Sahib Verma

Katiyar and Verma were booked by the J&K police for inciting communal passion.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 16:19 IST

Senior BJP leaders Vinay Katiyar and Sahib Singh Verma were on Saturday booked by the Jammu and Kashmir Police for inciting communal passion by announcing monetary rewards to civilians killing terrorist even as the saffron party sought to defend them saying they were echoing popular sentiments.

An FIR has been registered against them for "making provocative statements" and "inciting communal passions" under Section 123-A and 153-A Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) in Nowabad police station in Jammu, Deputy Inspector General of Police Niaz Mehmood, said.

BJP General Secretary Katiyar and party Vice-President Verma on Thursday had announced a reward of Rs one lakh each for any civilian for killing a terrorist and Rs two lakh for a civilian's family if he laid down his life fighting terrorist.

Katiyar, a former Chief of Bajrang Dal, is incharge of the ongoing 'Satyagraha' in Jammu against the killing of Hindus in Doda and Udhampur.

"The BJP is against the common man taking to arms. It does not believe in anyone taking the law in his hands. The leaders were only echoing the general sentiments of the people in the region who have been witness to the Government's failure in tackling militancy. Perhaps they had in mind the Village Defence Committees' created and armed by the government to fight terrorists" he said.

Following party Chief Rajnath Singh's 'directive', Javadekar had on Friday 'clarified' that the leaders were propagating a Government scheme.

The Congress party, PDP and National Conference have condemned the BJP leaders' call saying it would further vitiate the situation in the militancy-hit state.

First Published: Jun 10, 2006 16:19 IST