BJP protecting Malegaon accused in name of religion: Left

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New Delhi, Nov 17 (UNI) Taking a strong exception to the BJP's open backing of the Malegaon accused Pragnya Singh and Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, the Left parties today demanded that a coordinated inquiry with other states, where similiar terrorist offenses took place, be speeded up to bring the culprits to book.

While the CPI(M) Polit Bureau came out with a strong statement, the CPI and the Forward Bloc told UNI that the law should take its own course and all the recent bomb blasts should be investigated by an impartial agency.

CPI(M) Polit Bureau statment said "The BJP and the RSS are mounting a campiagn to pressurise police and administration not to pursue the cases of terrorism which have assumed serious ramifications with the arrest of a serving Army officer." The Left parties' reaction came a day after the BJP president Rajnath Singh said his party would protect the interests of 'Hindu saints' and back those accused in the Malegaon blast.

The CPI(M) said some Chief Ministers belonging to the party participated in the RSS-VHP sponsored meeting of sadhus in Panipat where statements to the effect that the 'Hindus could not be terrorists' and claims that the majority community's religous figures were being targeted were made.

"The BJP leadership is making the dangerous argument that no person afflicted to the Hindutava organisations can be investigated for terrorism offenses. This has blown up the BJP's stance against terrorism and exposed its rabid communal outlook," the statment added.

CPI National Secretary Shamim Faizi, however, agreed that those arrested in the Malagaon blast case should not be termed as 'Hindu terrorists', adding that they and their supporters represent a very small fringe of the majority community.

But, the CPI leader asked Mr Singh to apologise to the entire nation for his party's branding a particular minority community as 'terrorists'.

On BJP president questioning the Mumbai ATS's credentials, Mr Faizi said that then he should also concede that investigations conducted by the police of BJP-ruled states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka were also 'politically motivated'.

Forward Bloc leader G Devrajan deplored that the BJP's open support would harm the nation's unity and integrity."The BJP is trying to protect terrorist activities in the name of religion.

''Besides, it would also have negative implications for our polity and society.'' UNI KSA JT PK BST1537

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