No change in Advani’s travel plans despite ‘terror’ threat (Lead)

September 25th, 2008 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday appeared unfazed by an email purportedly sent by the Indian Mujahideen threatening its prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, saying there would be no change in his travel plans because of the missive.”There will not be any change in his schedule. We are not scared of these terrorists,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.

Media outlets in Meghalaya capital Shillong earlier Thursday received an email threatening to eliminate Advani using suicide bombers during his visit to the state next week.

The Meghalaya police said they had traced the email to a cyber cafe from where it was sent.

“We have vowed to kill Advani on his visit to Shillong Sep 29. We have already convened a meeting of field commanders,” the email read. It was sent from the ID by Ali Hussain Badr, who described himself as a field commander of the Indian Mujahideen in northeast India.

Advani is due to arrive in Assam’s main city of Guwahati Sep 28 and then visit Shillong the next day.

According to Javadekar, the email pointed to the “growing confidence of terrorist outfits in the country. It should be immediately investigated”.

The BJP also demanded that the government immediately ban the Indian Mujahideen, which has claimed responsibility for the terror bombings in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Jaipur that killed nearly 150 people and injured hundreds more.

“The organisation has been active since a long time and has been trying to create communal tension in the country. It should be banned at the earliest under the Unlawful Activities Act,” Javadekar maintained.

The spokesperson also criticised Minister of State for Home Shakeel Ahmed for saying that terrorism reared its head in India in the wake of Advani’s 1990 Rath Yatra to push for building a Ram temple at the site of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya. Hindu fundamentalists razed the 16th century mosque in December 1992.

“Terrorism is a global phenomenon and there should a proper analysis of the problem. He (Ahmed) is trying to justify terrorism by making such statements,” Javadekar contended.

He also took on Congress party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who during his Punjab tour earlier this week termed the now-defunct anti-terror POTA was a “failed law”.

“Rahul should explain to the country what POTA lacked. And if he wishes to bring another law, what is the new or different thing it will have,” Javadekar said, challenging Gandhi to a debate on terrorism.

The previous BJP-led government enacted the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) that it said would help stamp out the scourge from the country. The Congress-led government scrapped the law soon after it came to power in May 2004.

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