The Congress on Saturday said it does not believe in playing politics over serious national issues like terrorism, but revelations of close links between the BJP and the individuals caught in terror activities forces it to ask questions to the ruling party, which ”loses no opportunity to preach to Indians about nationalism”.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar gave examples to support the claim that the persons caught in several terror-related and other crimes, including the Udaipur and Amravati killings, were linked to the saffron party. He alleged that Mohammad Riyaz Attari, one of the accused in the Kanhaiya Lal’s murder in Udaipur, was a BJP worker.
”He had joined the BJP in the presence of a senior local leader. He was seen attending numerous party programmes in the presence of senior BJP leaders,” Kumar claimed. Recently it was revealed that Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Talib Hussain Shah, who had been captured in Jammu and Kashmir by the local residents, was a BJP office-bearer there. Before the arrest, he had been planning attacks on the Amarnath Yatra, he said.
He also alleged that Irfan Khan, accused of masterminding the murder of Amravati chemist Umesh Kolhe, has close links with independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana. Khan is known to have campaigned and sought votes for the Ranas, he added. However, the Rana couple has earlier denied the allegation of being linked to the chemist murder case accused.
Former BJP leader from Kashmir, Tariq Ahmad Mir, was arrested in 2020 for procuring weapons for Hizbul Mujahideen commander Naveed Babu. Naveed Babu had previously been arrested with DSP Davinder Singh and accused of supplying weapons to terrorists. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has confirmed that Mir is an associate of Davinder Singh. The truth would have come out had the Davinder Singh inquiry been carried through to its conclusion, but it was halted midway, Kumar claimed.
In 2017, the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested BJP’s IT Cell member Dhruv Saxena along with 10 accomplices for spying for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate, Pakistan’s intelligence agency. The spy ring had set up an illegal telephone exchange to facilitate espionage, he said, adding that two years later, Balram Singh, a Bajrang Dal leader from Madhya Pradesh, was arrested in a terror funding case.
In 2017, a special NIA court had sentenced Assam BJP leader Niranjan Hojai to life imprisonment. He was found involved in scam worth Rs 1,000 crore, which were diverted to support a militant group. The funds were to be used to buy weapons and carry out attacks on our security forces, he added. The BJP has also knowingly gave a ticket to Masood Azhar’s acolyte Mohammad Farooq Khan to contest the Srinagar municipal election. Khan was previously a member of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Kumar charged.
The BJP government has the dubious distinction of having released dreaded terrorist Masood Azhar in 1999 during the Kandahar hijacking, he said.
”Azhar went on to establish Jaish-e-Muhammad terror group that was responsible for the 2001 Parliament attack and the 2008 Mumbai attacks that caused hundreds of deaths. Jaish also masterminded the 2019 Pulwama attack, in which 44 CRPF personnel died after 200 kg of high explosive, including RDX somehow made it past multiple security checkpoints. Why an inquiry into Pulwama has not been held remains a mystery,” he claimed. ”Congress does not believe in playing politics over serious issues like terrorism, but revelations of close links between the BJP and the individuals caught in terror activities forces it to ask questions to the ruling party, which loses no opportunity to preach to Indians about nationalism,” Kumar said. Under the garb of nationalism, BJP is involved in anti-national activities. The party’s links to the people involved in terror activities is a threat to national security, he alleged.