New Delhi, May 16: Bhopal BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur has said Nathuram Godse, who is known to have assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, was a “deshbhakt” (patriot) and will remain so forever.
Sadhvi Pragya was reacting to Kamal Haasan’s recent comment that the first terrorist in India was a Hindu. Speaking at an election rally, the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder said, “The first terrorist post-Independence was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu. It started from there. He killed Mahatma Gandhi. I am questioning this as the great grandson of Gandhi.”
Asked about Kamal Haasan’s comment on Hindu terror and Godse, Sadhvi Pragya said, “Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt, is a deshbhakt and will remain a deshbhakt. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within. Such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections.”
Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday hit out at the BJP and said she takes pride in being termed ‘anti-national’ if a Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse, who gunned down the father of the nation, is being hailed as a nationalist. “I take pride in being called an anti-national when a Hindu fanatic who gunned down Gandhi ji is hailed as a nationalist,” Mufti wrote on her Twitter handle.
She also said, “aisi nationalism aur desh bhakti humaray bas ki naheen. Yeh aapko mubarak. (Such kind of nationalism and patriotism are not our cup of tea. Congratulations to you!). Muftis response comes in the wake of BJP’s candidate Pragya Singh Thakur’s remarks terming Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, as a ‘deshbhakt’ (patriot).
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdhullah also condemned Pragya’s remarks on Godse. “If the killer of the father of the nation is a patriot does that make Mahatma Gandhi anti-national?” queried Abdullah in his twitter post.
Earlier in the day, when questioned about actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s remark that India’s first terrorist was a Hindu (in reference to Godse), Thakur had said, “Nathuram Godse was a ‘deshbhakt’, is a ‘deshbhakt’ and will remain a ‘deshbhakt’.” “People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections,” she had said.
Haasan, the chief of political outfit Makkal Needhi Maiam, had said, “I am not saying this because many Muslims are here. I am saying this in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue. The first terrorist in independent India is a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse.” Soon after her comments stoked controversy, BJP strongly condemned the statement made by Thakur and said she should apologize publicly for terming Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a ‘true patriot’.
“We completely disagree with the statement made by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur about the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi ji. We strongly condemn this particular statement. The party will ask her for clarification, she should apologize publicly for this statement,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao had told media here. Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who is contesting against Thakur from Bhopal, also sought his opponent’s apology for her remarks. “Modi ji, Amit Shah ji and the state BJP should give their statements and apologize to the nation. I condemn this statement, Nathuram Godse was a killer, glorifying him is not patriotism, it is sedition,” he had said.
Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, is not new to controversial remarks. After being fielded by the BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, she had said Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, died because she had cursed him.
Mehbooba red-flags ‘arming residents’ in Chenab valley
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday flayed Centre and state governments for their plans to “arm civilians” in sensitive Chenab Valley saying that such attempt will set a dangerous trend.
“Reports about administration trying to arm civilians under the garb of creating Village Defence Committees in Chenab Valley are disturbing and alarming especially at the time when the government has to be inclusive to avoid further alienation of youth across the state,” Mehbooba said in a statement.
She said that similar experiments of “arming civilians” under anti-militancy grid in 90s led to “complete chaos.”
“The wounds inflicted upon the general masses due to such move are still fresh.
“In communally sensitive areas like Chenab Valley the plans are fraught with only dangerous consequences,” she said.
Mehbooba added that the union government recently had planned to wind-up all such defence committees.
“… but suddenly, they are taking a U-Turn. Not only such committees are being strengthened but even fresh arms being were issued, that too to the people with a particular political ideology,” she said.
The PDP president condemned the registration of a “false and frivolous” FIR against the party leaders including its former legislator and senior leader Firdous Tak and Youth District President Kishtwar Wasil Doolwal for seeking immediate roll back of such plans.
“The party leaders have represented the sentiments and aspirations of the people but it seems that the local administration was working under pressure from a particular political organisation. The registration of the case only speaks about the sorry state of affairs in Chenab Valley. The registration of the case seems to be a step taken under political compulsions and it should be rectified,” she said, while demanding immediate withdrawal of the case.
Monitor News Bureau
Srinagar, Jul 20: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti Saturday dissolved the party’s top decision-making Political Affairs Committee (PAC).
The move comes less than a week ahead of the PDP’s 20th foundation day anniversary scheduled to be observed on July28.
“Mehbooba Mufti has dissolved the PAC and a new body will be reconstituted in near future,” a PDP spokesman said.
While no reasons were assigned for the sudden decision of the PDP president, sources in the party said it was done in the wake of number of senior party leaders including several MLAs and former ministers quitting the party.
Those who have left the PDP include Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Altaf Bukhari, Haseeb Drabu, Imran Ansari, Abid Ansari and Abbas Wani (all former MLAs).
Cop turned drug peddler arrested
Srinagar, Jul 20: J&K Police Saturday arrested a drug peddler in Srinagar who turned out to be a cop.
A spokesperson said that Srinagar police intercepted and arrested one drug peddler at a checkpoint near Batamaloo.
The peddler, as per the police spokesperson, was identified as Mohammad Altaf Rather son of Akbar Rather resident of Panzan Chadoora.
“It is learnt that the arrested person works in Police department as Head Constable and has been accordingly placed under suspension,” the spokesperson said, adding the police seized 650 gms of charas and cash amount Rs 19,150 from his possession.
Accordingly case FIR No. 64/2019 under relevant sections of law was registered in the matter.
“He was shifted to Police Station Batamaloo where he remains in custody. One motor cycle bearing registration number JK01S-2152 also has been seized,” the spokesperson said.
The police requested people to come forward with any information regarding drug peddlers in their neighbourhood.
Drugs trap to spoil Kashmiri youth: Farooq
Srinagar, Jul 20: Member of Parliament and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah asked the youth of J&K to stay away from rising drug menace.
“The rising drug menace in Kashmir is a trap used to spoil the future of Kashmiri youth. I urge youth to stay away from it,” Farooq said while addressing a convention of NC workers at Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Farooq added that “if the special status of Jammu and Kashmir will be removed, all the presidential laws will come to an end by itself.”
Member of Parliament Hasnain Masoodi, Member of Parliament M Akber Lone, General Secretary Ali M Sagar, former MLA Handwara Choudhary M Ramzan, provincial president Nasir Alsam Wani and Sharif-ud-din Sharik were present on the occasion.