Ban on Bajrang Dal likely, says minister; BSP supports (Lead)

October 7th, 2008 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj PartyNew Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Tuesday backed union Minister of State for Home Shakeel Ahmad’s statement to ban the right-wing Hindu outfit Bajrang Dal, while both the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Samajwadi Party described it as a “political gimmick”. Speaking in Patna, Ahmad pointed out that there was “little doubt that the Bajrang Dal is a terrorist outfit involved in creating terror”, and said the government may ban it like it has the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

He said the government could ban the group if four to five state governments send reports making it clear that the outfit’s activities lead to terror.

BSP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shahid Siddiqui said: “Whether the BSP will send a report to ban the Bajrang Dal or not will be decided by (Uttar Pradesh) Chief Minister Mayawati. However, my opinion has been that all such organisations which spread terror in society, including Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Shiv Sena along with SIMI, should be banned.”

However, the CPI-M decried Ahmad’s statement.

“It is a ridiculous statement. This is nothing but an attempt by the union government to escape responsibility and put the blame on others,” said CPI-M politburo member Brinda Karat.

“This statement shows the utter hypocrisy of the government in dealing with the fanatic Hindu organisations. The Congress is aware of the terror activities of Bajrang Dal and other Hindu fanatic organisations,” she said.

Even the Congress party’s new-found ally, the Samajwadi Party said the statement carried little conviction.

“This statement is in continuity with the long history of dual policies followed by the Congress. This is nothing but lip service. Religious minorities are terrorised in Orissa and Karnataka and there is widespread discontent among them,” said Samajwadi Party MP Kamal Akhter.

“If the Congress wants to ban the Bajrang Dal, it can demand reports from the states ruled by the Congress like Maharashtra. Our party has been demanding a ban on the Bajrang Dal and other fascist organisations.”

The Bajrang Dal has been accused of engineering violence, targeting Christians and churches in the country, particularly in Orissa and Karnataka.

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