NATIONAL

RSS sends legal notice to Arjun

NEW DELHI, AUG. 14. Taking strong objection to the charge of its involvement in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh today sent a legal notice to the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Arjun Singh.

Demanding an unconditional apology from him to its satisfaction, the notice, sent to the 24 Akbar Road headquarters of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), sought an undertaking from Mr. Singh that he would not "misadventure in future to give any such statement against the RSS.''

Explanation sought

The notice sought an explanation from Mr. Singh whether he had made the accusation in his individual capacity or as a member of the AICC and if it was under the consent and on behalf of all the members of the AICC.

The notice, sent by RSS counsel Rajesh K. Gogna, said if Mr. Singh did not reply, the RSS would file a criminal complaint under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. "You have intentionally, deliberately and knowingly given the statement with the intention of harming the good name of the RSS and the reputation of the office-bearers and members of the organisation,'' it said.

Mr. Singh is on a visit to Ujjain.The notice said the RSS was a `nationalist and patriotic organisation', believed in "peaceful coexistence of all sections" and had great respect for the Constitution. "There is no place in the RSS for persons who are indulging in any sort of hatred and violence,'' it said.

Mr. Singh had said in a statement that he was aware of "their expertise in murder and mayhem and I challenge the RSS to do their worst.'' Reacting to it, the RSS spokesman, Ram Madhav, said the RSS was accepting his challenge.

The RSS spokesman said that Mr. Singh was trying to extricate himself by changing his original statement about the RSS' involvement in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. While Mr. Singh originally said it was the RSS which was behind the Mahatma Gandhi murder, later he changed the statement to say that it was the RSS ideology of "hate and violence'' that was responsible for the killing.

Mr. Madhav dared Mr. Singh to stand by his original statement. Quoting references from the Justice Kapur Commission report, the autobiography of veteran Congress Chief Minister, D.P. Mishra and a letter by Sardar Patel to the then Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Mr. Madhav said that none of them had held the RSS responsible for the murder. But people like Mr. Singh continued to use Gandhiji for their political motives, he added.

He claimed that Mr. Singh had travelled to Allahabad from Delhi at the time of tendering his resignation from the Government of P.V Narasimha Rao. "Mr. Singh went to Allahabad first to call on a top RSS leader.''

Moreover, Mr. Singh's brother, Rana Bahadur Singh was a district RSS chief many decades ago. Similarly, Mr. Singh himself had invited a senior RSS functionary to appear on his behalf in an election petition in 1957. The former Congress president, Sitaram Kesri, too had levelled baseless allegations against the RSS but withdrew the charges after receiving a legal notice, Mr. Madhav said.

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