India frowns at Chinese news report suggesting Hindu hand in MumbaiDecember 8th, 2008 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) The Indian government has taken “serious note” of a “mischievous and misleading” report on the Mumbai terror strike by a Chinese journalist in the People’s Daily which speculated that “Hindu youth” could be behind these attacks. “We have taken serious note of this misleading and mischievous report and taken it up with appropriate authorities,” official sources told IANS.
“Although a group called Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attack, it can be seen from the red thread worn by the attackers around their waist that they could be Hindu youth,” a report published in People’s Daily, the official organ of the Chinese Communist party, two days after the Mumbai terror attacks said. The report has been written by Ren Yan, Mumbai-based correspondent of Rebmin Ribao (People’s Daily).
“Analysts are quoted as saying that radical elements from Hinduism could also carry out this attack, because they have long opposed the US’ hegemonistic policies,” the report said. The report, however, did not name analysts the Chinese correspondent was quoting in his report in support of his claim.
The report, published Nov 28, said that the Mumbai terror attacks could be the handiwork of “radical elements within the Hindu community” who are “unhappy with domestic and foreign policies of the Congress-led government” and speculates that these attacks could have been engineered to influence the outcome of the general elections.
“Although the terrorists are not yet identified, such analysis is offering a new angle to the motives and counter-measures for such terrorist strikes,” the report claimed.
The People’s Daily report echoed speculative stories in sections of the Pakistani media that sought to blame Hindu extremists for the Mumbai attacks.
“It was a highly speculative story and came at a time when all evidence was pointing towards Pakistan,” said Sujit Dutta, a China expert at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).
“It was an attempt to shift the blame from Pakistan and Pakistan-based elements to India-based elements,” Dutta said, echoing that they indicated a “design” as the report echoed stories published in Pakistani dailies like the Dawn.
China, which calls itself an “all-weather friend of Pakistan”, has called for more dialogue and cooperation between New Delhi and Islamabad in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.
With India and the world putting pressure on Pakistan to take action against militants responsible for the Mumbai carnage, Beijing has lauded Islamabad’s role and offered it full cooperation.