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Mecca Masjid verdict: Cong questions NIA, BJP says politics of 'defaming' Hindus exposed

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The acquittals of five accused in the Masjid blast case today prompted the to question the functioning of the under the Modi government, but the BJP asserted that the court's decision had exposed the opposition party's of "defaming" Hindus for votes.

said the accused in such cases had been acquitted ever since the BJP-led NDA government was formed four years ago, and claimed that people were losing faith in investigation agencies.

A special anti-terror court in acquitted Swami Aseemanand and four others in the Masjid case, ruling that the prosecution failed to prove charges. A massive blast had ripped through the Masjid on May 18, 2007, during Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58 others.

MP and said justice was not done in the case and accused the investigation agency NIA of not pursuing the case properly.

The BJP, however, latched on to the verdict to fire a fresh salvo against the for the use of terms such as "saffron terror" and "Hindu terror" by its senior leaders and former Union home ministers P Chidambaram and Sushil

Its accused Congress leaders of practising "of appeasement" in their stand on the court's verdict and wondered what the did in its over seven years of rule following the blast.

"For its appeasement politics, the Congress targeted and defamed Hindus and the country for merely some votes. That conspiracy has been exposed. The Congress has been unmasked and exposed like never before," Patra said.

Patra demanded that Congress and his predecessor apologise for defaming Hindus if they had an "iota of intimacy" with the country. He alleged that the opposition party's leaders had learnt to target the community from them.

He said people would teach the Congress "a lesson" in the polls as they had in the 2014 election when it was reduced to 44 seats.

Hitting back at the Congress leaders for blaming the BJP government for the acquittals of the accused, he alleged that the opposition party adopted "double standards", as it had welcomed a court order in favour of the accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, involving leaders of the Congress's allies, officials and

Patra also noted that the Congress was in power for seven years after the blasts and asked what it had done during the period.

When asked about the verdict, former Union and Congress said, "I find it very difficult to say whether this is wrong or correct."

He said he was not aware of the nature of charge sheet filed by the probe agency, statements made by the witnesses and the cross-examination done by the prosecution.

Patra raked up comments of several Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi's remarks reportedly quoted in a US diplomatic cable in which he had said that radicalised Hindu groups posed a bigger danger to the country.

The BJP noted that then Shinde had used the term "saffron terror" and "Hindu terror" in his address at a 2013 Congress conclave in in which then Manmohan Singh, and were present.

Shinde had used the dais to abuse Hindus, he alleged, claiming that the Congress had been targeting Hindus for years.

Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, Patra wondered if the Congress would lead a candle march to India Gate and apologise for his attempts to "defame" a religion.

He quoted a former home ministry official, R V S Mani, saying that files used to be doctored under the to prove charges of "saffron terror".

He also claimed that was also practising appeasement Patra accused of "hobnobbing" with a Muslim outfit, Popular Front of India, while it was being probed by the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 18:55 IST