We will not retaliate the way these killers want, says RSS leader on Gosai’s killing in Ludhiana
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We will not retaliate the way these killers want, says RSS leader on Gosai’s killing in Ludhiana

The leader also said that such attacks cannot crush the activities of the RSS.

punjab Updated: Oct 20, 2017 10:08 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Rss,Punjab RSS,Punjab news
RSS leader Vinay Sharma(HT Photo)

A day after yet another fatal attack on a leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), this time in Ludhiana on Tuesday, all eyes are on the right-wing organisation as to how it would react to such attacks. That, when RSS is not the only one facing such attacks. There have been eight killings in seven such attacks on religious or Rightist leaders in the last two years. HT spoke to RSS’s praant karyawah, the number two in its state body hierarchy, Vinay Sharma, over the issue. Excerpts:

What do you think is the motive behind attacks on right-wing activists in Punjab?

The motive is clear. There are people who don’t want to see Punjab peaceful and progressive, and by killing our workers and leaders they just want to create communal tension. These are targeted and symbolic killings, so that one particular community boils, and Punjab again becomes a troubled state.

What is the strategy of the RSS now? Are you planning an agitation?

We have already submitted a memorandum to chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh-ji through deputy commissioners. RSS believes in the system, and we won’t resort to any agitation that may lead to tension. We have full faith in the government and we hope that the killers will be behind bars soon. The RSS will not retaliate the way these assailants want.

Is there truth to reports that police recently advised RSS leaders to take security cover but a few declined?

After (RSS state vice-chief) Jagdish Gagneja-ji was killed (in August last year), many of our senior leaders have been provided police cover. When we attend shakhas (gatherings) in the morning, even police remain there. But we cannot ask every swayamsewak (volunteer/member) to take security.

Who do you think is behind these attacks? Police suspect some Sikh hardliner groups and even Pakistan’s involvement.

We are not investigators. And we frankly don’t know if Pakistan is involved in these attacks. But, let me tell you one thing: Such attacks cannot crush the activities of the RSS. We will not stop attending shakhas or doing other works. Our workers have peacefully fought in violence on RSS people in Kerala as well. And, in Punjab too, even during the days of terrorism, we kept on raising our voice. But this time in Punjab, the pattern seems different. This group has killed Namdhari sect head’s mother Mata Chand Kaur and Christian leader Sultan Masih as well, which shows some groups are desperate to create tension.

Punjab police and even CBI have failed to get any clues. What are your views on their competence?

We have full faith in the agencies of our state and the CBI. But, at the same time, if killers have not been nabbed, it is automatically hitting the credibility of these agencies as well. The message of the assailants is clear, that they can kill anybody without any fear! So, the ball is in the court of the investigation agencies and the state government.

First Published: Oct 18, 2017 20:38 IST