The government has attempted to defend Home Minsiter Sushilkumar Shinde’s statement on RSS and BJP camps fostering terrorism saying he might have had access to more facts, but is there any real defence for the minister or the Home Secretary’s statement endorsing it?
“In the context of the criminal jurisprudence of the country, the statement of the Home Secretary is ridiculous,” said AK Doval, Ex-DIG, Intelligence Bureau.Speaking to Rajdeep Sardesai on a late night discussion in CNN-IBN, he said,”There is no question of collective responsibility unless you impose Section 34 in furtherance of common intention. On the basis of a common identity we can arrest two Maharashtrians and say is it not sufficient that three persons from Maharashtra were being found guilty?”
“If RSS is to be implicated then you have to say under Section 34 as co-conspirators they are to be criminally liable,” he said.
The Home Minister’s statement was strongly condemned by the BJP which has threatened to disrupt the upcoming session of Parliament and maybe even boycott Shinde, who is the leader of the House.
According to Doval, there is no conclusive evidence to prove the role of RSS or BJP camps in terror activities.
“Under the Indian Evidence Act this is a ridiculous statement that should be rejected outright, ” he said.
Praveen Swami, Senior Associate Editor of The Hindu said that there is a substantial mass of evidence that should allow to at least try people from right wing groups for their involvement in terror strikes, if not convict them. However, he said that the statement of Sushilkumar Shinde could not be defended as that might have been made out of political motivations.
“When there is fresh evidence you re-appraise your earlier assessments. In the case of the Samjhauta Express case, there was intelligence information based on the United States Treasury Department and others who blamed the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Further investigation has given some reason to believe that that is not in fact the case,” he said.
“Today the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claims to have eyewitnesses linking the men it has arrested linked to the purchase of suitcases in which the bomb was planted. There is also a motorcycle with paperwork linked to Sadhvi Thakur,” Swami said.
Doval defended the report of the US treasury department saying, “The US conclusion was based on the statement of the second wife of David Headley. She was told about the Samjhauta Express when Headley was in the Bombay hotel and that is what she gave in the details.”
The terror strikes, Doval said, can in no way be identified as Hindu terror.
“Every terror act is identified by two factors – what is the causative factor and the second is the tactics part of it which the respondents give it,” he said. In this case, there was neither to prove the RSS or BJP were involved in it, he added.