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Plot to kill V-P: Cong demands action, Mob vandalizes TV Channel
Saturday, July 17, 2010 08:26:45 AM, Agencies
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New Delhi: Even as hundreds of suspected Sangh Parivar activists vandalised the lobby of the TV Channel after it telecast a sting operation on an alleged plot to assassinate Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Friday demanded from the Home Ministry to conduct an in-depth investigation into the plot and register a case against BJP leader B.L. Sharma.
“The assassination plot is extremely serious and demands intervention at the highest level,” he said. The TV expose revealed the “violent and anti-national character of Hindu fundamentalists…. The BJP had been accusing the Congress of being soft on terror. And now, the party itself stands charged with terror activities.”
Earlier, Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said, “the involvement of senior RSS leaders with terror groups and specific acts of terrorism” needed to be investigated because “they have the power through such acts to destabilise the entire society, the Constitution and our political system.”
She recalled that it was the BJP which accused the “martyred Hemant Karkare of being unpatriotic when he first started uncovering these unholy links.”
'Plot to kill V-P'
Headlines Today, on the basis of the CBI INVESTIGATIONS have exposed that the Hindutva terror brigade was contemplating an assassination bid on Vice- President Hamid Ansari during the annual convocation of the Jamia Millia Islamia in October 2007.
The investigating agency stumbled upon the extent to which the terror brigade was prepared to go while analysing audio recordings recovered from the 2007 Malegaon blasts accused, and self proclaimed Shankaracharya Dayanand Pandey’s laptop.
Its suspicion is based on an exchange between the ‘Shankaracharya’ and Dr R. P. Singh, an endocrinologist practising at the Apollo Hospital in Delhi.
Information accessed by Headlines Today from the investigators shows that Dr Singh was part of a larger saffron terror ring operating in the country. But although Pandey was arrested and booked on terror charges, Dr Singh is a free man.
Sources in the Maharashtra ATS informed Headlines Today that they didn’t arrest the doctor because there was no evidence to link him with the Malegaon blasts. Singh, even after being let off, is under the CBI scanner.
'TV Channel Office vandalized'
Meanwhile, In a brazen attack on press freedom, a large number of people owing allegiance to the sangh parivar vandalised the office of the TV Today Network at Videocon Towers at Jhandewalan here on Friday.
The attack came a day after the group's news channel, Headlines Today, telecast tapes of secret meetings attended by some Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders and where discussions were allegedly held on carrying out “terrorist attacks against meetings of Muslims.''
Protesting against the telecast of the tapes, an over 2000-strong mob, which included several women, barged into the lobby of Videocon Towers around 5 p.m. and resorted to vandalism.
Carrying placards — which read “RSS/Sangh ka apmaan nahi sahega Hindustan” (India will not tolerate insult to RSS and Sangh) — and armed with sticks, the protesters hurled flower plots, stones and bricks at the entrance gate of the lobby. They smashed glass doors and windows and damaged furniture.
Delhi police personnel and security guards were punched and pushed around.
The high-voltage drama continued for over 15 minutes before police reinforcements reached the spot and brought the situation under control.
'Attack on press condemned'
The attack on the TV Channel office has been receiving widespread condemnation. While the Editor of the Headlkine Today himself criticized the attack, Editors' Guild of India has also come strongly in support of the channel.
“I have no problem to a protest but what they have done is grossly incorrect. They have not acted in a fair manner. If they had a problem with the contents of the story, they could have protested through democratic means. They could have approached the Editors' Guild, the channel editor or held a press conference. Barging into the office of a channel and indulging in hooliganism cannot be defended", said Rahul Kanwal, Editor of Headlines Today.
The Editors Guild of India has also condemned the attack by a mob on the TV Today network office in Delhi, following a sting operation by the channel on a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader.
"Some members of the crowd forcibly entered the building and even vandalised the Headlines Today office. Such fascist methods to try and silence the media will only backfire," a statement by the guild's president Rajdeep Sardesai and secretary general Coomi Kapoor said.
"All organisations who believe in freedom of the media must protest against such intimidatory and uncivilised behaviour. It is particularly deplorable that there has been an attempt in some quarters to condone such hooliganism," it added.
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