Congress invites debate on home-grown terrorism

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New Delhi, Sep 24 (UNI) Sharing the BJP's concern over the increase in ''home-grown'' terrorism, the Congress today favoured a national debate on the subject, including why this happened and who was responsible.

''Home-grown terrorism is a new menace. We invite a debate on why did this happen, "AICC Spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told mediapersons, while indicating that the BJP and other Hindutva organisations had a role in the growth of home-grown terrorism.

Classifying terrorism under three categories -- secessionism-related terrorism, naxalite-related terrorism and communal terrorism, he said the country witnessed communal politics before independence which led to partition in 1947.

The Mumbai blasts in 1993 was the first instance of communal terrorism after 1947, he said.

''There was no communal politics in the country after 1947 till Hindutva leaders such as L K Advani and Praveen Togadia started this brand of politics during 1987-88.

''Though the 1993 Mumbai blasts was the first instance of communal terrorism after 1993, there have been several such incidents since then,'' he said.

On the demand of the BJP for bringing back POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) to deal effectively with terrorism, he said ''POTA was a failed law.'' He said the number of violent incidents and the pople who were killed in such incidents had come down under the UPA rule as compared to the NDA period.

In this context, he said there were 3472 communal incidents in the country under the UPA regime in which 573 people were killed. The number of communal incidents was higher under the NDA regime (1999-2003) with 3761 incidents and 1959 casualties.

Dr Ahmed appealed to the media not to sensationalise law and order issues to improve their TRP rates in the face of stiff competition.

UNI SH PK CS1940

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