Modi Govt goes on the backfoot over Rajnath’s Hafiz Saeed comments

NEW DELHI: Centre on Monday shifted gears and went on the back foot on union home minister Rajnath Singh’s remarks that connected LeT chief Hafiz Saeed with the JNU incident where pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.

While asserting that the home minister’s statement were based on intelligence inputs clearly indicating Hafiz Saeed was backing the incident, Minister of State for home, Kiren Rijiju refused to share the evidence with anybody including the parliament.

“Intelligence inputs cannot be shared and brought out in public domain,” said Rijiju adding that Centre cannot share it even in the parliament even if the opposition wants to.

Several opposition parties, including Congress, Left, JDU have asked Rajnath Singh to share the evidence and the issue is expected to rock the budget session beginning next week.

On being questioned by the dna, if India would share this evidence with Pakistan, Rijiju said, “I cannot say how we will put it before Pakistan…through a dossier or through some other communication.”

The same question put to several officials in the intelligence community and home ministry drew a blank reply as they refused to comment on it. The union home secretary, Rajiv Mehrishi said, “Ask the home minister about it.”

Even Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said that they have found “no evidence linking” the LeT to the incident at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) so far.

“As and when it comes, it will be shared with the Home Ministry,” said Bassi.

Rajnath Singh on Sunday had said that the JNU incident had support of Hafiz Saeed and we should understand this reality. His remarks came after a tweet by a fake account by the name “Hafeez Muhamad Saeed” that was retweeted by Delhi Police with a warning not to circulate it.

Soon after discovering that the tweet was from a fake account, the home ministry claimed that minister’s statement on Hafiz Saeed was based on intelligence inputs from various agencies.

The ministry, however, made it clear that it was not letting go the JNU incident without imposing a cost.

“If there is a strong support group for a convicted terrorist like Afzal Guru that can openly conduct programme in the open and shout anti-India slogans then it a matter of serious concern,” said Rijiju.

Backing police action, Rijiju said, sedition is a serious charge that is out of the purview of the university administration and Police in such incidents has every right to go there.

When asked if persons who constructed temple of Nathuram Godse, murderer of Mahatma Gandhi, should also be dubbed as anti-nation and a case of sedition be initiated against them, Rijiju refused to comment.

“I won’t comment on it. I will stick to only the JNU,” said Rijiju.