NIC to discuss attacks on minorities, terrorism, ban on Bajrang Dal

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New Delhi, Oct 12 (UNI) The National Integration Council meeting tomorrow is likely to be stormy with UPA allies attacking NDA ruled Orissa and Karnataka governments for violence against minorities and the NDA charging the Union Government with being soft on terror.

The meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would set the agenda for the coming assembly elections in five states with both the Congress and its allies RJD, LJP and Samajwadi Party taking up the issue of minorities and demanding ban on ultranatioalist organsations like Bajrang Dal as they hold it responsible for attacks on minorities.

However, the BJP and its allies like BJD would staunchly oppose it and try to focus on the UPA government's failure to contain the terrorism which was evident from serial blasts in various cities during the past few years including recent serial blasts in Delhi, explosions in local trains of Mumbai, terror attacks on Sankat Mochan temple and blasts outside courts in Uttar Pradesh, Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderbad and at Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan.

The day-long meeting of NIC happening after a gap of three years would be attended by Cabinet ministers, Chief Ministers of all the states and leaders of various political parties. Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh, who has been nominated by the Prime Minister is likely to raise the issue of Batla House encounter and reiterate his party's demand to order a judicial probe into the matter, which has already been rejected by the Dr Singh.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who is already facing flak from both the opposition BJP and the UPA allies like RJD and SP, would have the difficult job of giving explanation about the government's failure to check terrorism. He is likely to give details of the recent arrests and disclosures made by militants belonging to Indian Mujahideen Muzahiddin who had claimed responsibility for many of these attacks.

The issue of strong anti-terror law advocated by the Moily Committee and demanded by BJP may also crop up. However, the government is not in favour of a separate law like TADA and POTA but strengthening the existing legal provisions.

Meanwhile, the BJP ruled Karnataka and NDA ruled Orissa would have the difficult job of giving explanations about rising communal divide as the Prime Minister is likely to raise the issue of attacks on minority in Kandhamal in Orissa and vandalism of places of worship, in Karnataka.

The Centre has already sent directives to both the Governments asking them to take effective steps to check such violent incidents.

Dr Singh, who had answer questions on the issue at France, had described the attacks on minority community and the reported rape of a nun in Kandhamal as ''shameful'' and the Union Cabinet discussed the situation with some UPA allies like RJD demanding imposition of President's Rule in Orissa which was vehemently opposed by the BJP prime minister candidate L K Advani.

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