Mumbai: The Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) - two notorious Hindu-right extremist groups infamous for their violence againt minorities in India, have been classified as "militant religious organisations" by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The CIA, the intelligence wing of the US government, in its recent edition of the ‘World Factbook’, has categorised them under “political pressure groups”, defined as organisations that are involved in politics or that exert political pressure but whose leaders do not stand for legislative election.
The CIA also lists the RSS, Hurriyat Conference and Jamiat Ulema-e Hind among the political pressure groups in India. The RSS has been defined as a “nationalist organisation”, the Hurriyat Conference as a “separatist group” and the Jamiat Ulema-e Hind a “religious organisation”, according to The Indian Express.
Khemchand Sharma, former national convenor of the BJP’s Samvad cell, on rejected the CIA’s assertions.
“We completely reject CIA reference to VHP and Bajrang dal as religious militant organizations.. these r the nationalist organizations, all knows it. Legal proceeding will be initiated against this reference soon,” Sharma tweeted.
Speaking to The Print, Manoj Verma, the national convenor of the Bajrang Dal said: “This came to our notice a few days ago. We are consulting experts and seeking legal advice to counter this.”
Another Bajrang Dal leader added: “Why would any intelligence agency cite our organisations as being ‘militant’. Who gave them the right? We have international branches as well but we’ve never troubled anyone. We are nationalists. We will see what can be done to get this right.”
The Bajrang Dal, in fact, even organised an arms training camp to secretly train its workers and members to use arms; to "protect" Hindus, of course. Odd, for a group that claims it is not “militant”.
The VHP’s militancy has been a core feature of its ideology. One has only to see what VHP leader Pravin Togadia said in the wake of the BJP’s victory in the 2002 post-riot elections in Gujarat: “All Hindutva opponents will get the death sentence, and we will leave this to the people to carry out", according to dailyo.in.
For all the latest News, Opinions and Views, download ummid.com App
Select Langauge To Read in Urdu, Hindi, Marathi or Arabic