Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of ‘misleading’ the people ahead of the civic elections, the Congress on Thursday questioned the ruling party’s credentials on terrorism given its past track record.
Maharashtra Congress chief spokesperson Atul Londhe said that in 2015, BJP MPs like Varun Gandhi and ex-MP Shatrughan Sinha had opposed the hanging of terror convict Yakub Memon.
“They had given a letter not to hang Memon. After his execution on July 30, 2015, the then BJP government in the state had handed over his body to his family. Will the BJP now apologise to the people for that,” Londhe asked.
Reiterating that the body of any terrorist cannot be handed over to his family for last rituals, Londhe cited the instances of Afzal Guru hanged in February 2013 and a Pakistani terrorist executed in November 2012.
“They were buried at secret locations. Even the other nine Pakistani terrorists killed by security forces during the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes were disposed of at unknown locations which nobody knows till today. The Congress took care to ensure that the terrorists were never exalted by society,” Londhe pointed out.
Instead of replying to the questions, the BJP is attempting to give it a religious colour, spoil the communal environment by raising the Memon grave issue so that it can politically exploit it in the civic elections across the state, he said.
Londhe also said that after the body is buried, three years later it is exhumed, but that did not happen in the case of Memon who was hanged seven years ago.
“Will the BJP reply with whose blessings this was allowed,” he asked.
Londhe recalled how the BJP government at the Centre had released notorious Pakistani terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Maulana Masood Azhar in 1999 after the Indian Airlines plane hijack incident at Kandahar.
“It was during the BJP rule that the India Parliament was attacked (2001), and after the 2016 Pathankot attacks, the BJP had invited the Pakistani spy agency ISI to come for investigations in India. Hence, the BJP talking about terrorism is a big joke,” Londhe said.
The state Congress leader’s scathing statements came in the backdrop of the political controversy that erupted in Maharashtra over the purported ‘make-over’ of Memon’s grave in Bada Qabrastan in south Mumbai.
After a massive verbal war, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered the police to probe the incident.