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Congress, LJP demand ban on VHP, BD
Published on 20 Sep. 2008 12:42 AM IST
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The Congress Friday sought a ban on the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal for their alleged involvement in attacks on Christians in Orissa and Karnataka. “The sister bodies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - VHP and Bajrang Dal - are targeting innocent people and there is a rein of terror in Karnataka. These orgainsations should be banned,” Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh told reporters here. The home ministry has issued an advisory to the Karnataka and Orissa governments asking to put a stop to the violence against minorities in the states. The advisory, issued under Article 355 of the constitution, was issued in the wake of widespread violence against Christians and the destruction of churches by Hindu groups in the two state. Two places of Christian worship were attacked in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district Friday as well. The trouble began last week when churches and prayer halls in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts in the state were attacked by suspected Bajrang Dal activists, who alleged that the churches were enticing Hindus to convert to Christianity. Churches in Orissa were attacked and communal clashes broke out in parts of the state last month over the killing of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader. The killing was blamed on Christian groups, though police said Maoists were behind the attack. Demanding a ban on Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad with immediate effect, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said the Dal’s role in organizing attacks on places of worship of minorities in Karnataka is now established. “The findings of National Commission for Minorities and National Women’s Commission on communal violence in Karnataka have established the diabolical role of Bajrang Dal. Dal leaders have openly claimed responsibility for attacks on Christians in Orissa and Karnataka,” Paswan said accusing it of espousing a divisive agenda. Paswan also said such organizations are a serious threat to the unity and integrity of the country and need to be banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act 2004. He added that he had already written to Home Minister Shivraj Patil on September 15 regarding the “involvement of Dal and RSS affiliates in creating an atmosphere of terror, fear, insecurity and communal polarization.” Claiming that there are sufficient grounds for imposing a ban on Bajrang Dal and VHP, Paswan said a large amount of explosives and bomb making materials recovered from Kanpur last month was of the same type that was used in Delhi blasts. Paswan was referring to the recovery of explosives in Kanpur on August 24 when two alleged Dal activists Bhupinder Singh and Rajiv Mishra were killed while making bombs. He also severely criticised the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to take “any credible steps to unravel the conspiracy and nab the culprits.”

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