To compare the Lashkar-e-Taiba to the so-called extremist Hindu terror groups is to trivialise an important issue and to say the Hindu extremist groups are a bigger threat than the LeT are “utterly irresponsible,” the Bharatiya Janata Party said on Friday.
At one stroke the young scion of the Gandhi family legitimised what terror groups in Pakistan had been saying all along, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said here. Further, he “compromised India's strategic security and fight against terrorism.”
Quick to add that the BJP was not condoning terror attacks by any group, Mr. Prasad said terror groups should not, however, be given a religious nomenclature. He also pointed out that so far “no Hindu radical has been convicted of a terror charge.”
“He has a lot to learn”
The BJP said the Congress general secretary had a lot to learn about the country and needed to do a “lot more homework.” Even if he was expressing an opinion on Hindu radical groups, he ought to have raised it inside the country, in Parliament or outside, but not with the Ambassador to a foreign country.
Mr. Prasad was referring to a WikiLeaks expose, in which U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer reported that in a conversation with him Mr. Gandhi had said “there was evidence of some support for the group [LeT] among certain elements in India's indigenous Muslim community.” However, Mr. Gandhi “warned the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community.” Further, the Ambassador said, the Congress leader was referring to the tensions created by the more polarising figures in the BJP like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. There was the risk of a “home-grown” extremist front reacting to terror attacks from Pakistan or Islamist groups in India and this was a growing concern that demanded constant attention.
BJP national secretary Vani Tripathi said Mr. Gandhi was spreading “wrong messages in diplomatic circles” and showed his “lack of knowledge and sensitivity.”
Pravin Togadia of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad went on to say that clearly senior Congress leaders such as P. Chidambaram and Digvijay Singh had been talking about saffron terrorism “at the instance” of Mr. Gandhi.