New Delhi: 20-10-2017
Politicians should rise above political differences in matters of national security, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel has told Home Minister Rajnath Singh while demanding “impartial” and “objective” investigation into the arrest of two alleged IS operatives in Gujarat.
His demand for a probes comes in the wake of the BJP’s allegation that one of the two ISIS suspects nabbed by the Gujarat ATS was associated with the hospital runs by Ahmed Patel trust.
“I wish to bring to your notice the recent reports of arrest of IS (Islamic State) operatives in South Gujarat… Matters of national security cannot be a prisoner of politics and neither should be reduced to baselessly maligning political opponents for petty electoral gains,” Patel wrote in the letter dated October 28.
“We should rise above political differences in matters which involve national security. Framing terror charges must be done by law enforcement agencies and the judiciary and not by political leaders in press conferences from party headquarters.
“As a Member of Parliament of India, who has taken an oath to uphold the sovereignty and the integrity of India, I call upon you to take cognizance of the matter and as the Home Minister of India instruct relevant law enforcement agencies to take this investigation to its logical end in an impartial and objective manner, in a manner which befits such a serious offence. Those guilty, irrespective of faith or any affiliation must be brought to justice. Your government has my unstinted support in this endeavor,” ANI quoted Patel’s letter to Rajnath Singh as saying.
He said that Gujarat is the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and the people of the state “have a proud history” of believing in peaceful co-existence.
On Saturday, the BJP had sought clarification from Congress President Sonia Gandhi over alleged links of Patel to a suspected terrorist arrested in poll-bound Gujarat.
“The investigative agencies have arrested an IS suspect from a hospital in Gujarat. Ahmed Patel is associated with the hospital. Congress will have to answer. It cannot run away,” Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had said at a press conference here.
The Congress leader further said that matters of national security should not be politicized and reduced to “baselessly maligning political opponents for petty electoral gains”.
The Congress’ communications department head Randeep Surjewala also slammed the BJP for its attack on Patel, one of the party’s key strategists and a long-standing Gandhi family loyalist, calling it a “sinister conspiracy”.
Surjewala said that neither Patel nor his family members were trustees of the hospital, named after Sardar Patel, or had any role in its administration.
Mounting a counteroffensive, Surjewala also asked the saffron party to come clean on why the central and Maharashtra governments were clueless when underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s wife visited Mumbai and flew back to Pakistan last year.
“Rupani has resorted to making such despicable statements and conspiracy for the BJP is afraid that 6.5 crore Gujaratis are going to reject it completely (in the Assembly polls).
This shows the level to which the failed chief minister can stoop to out of fear of BJP’s defeat,” Surjewala said in a statement in the national capital.
He alleged that the BJP-led governments and its leaders have proved to be weak in the fight against terrorism.
Surjewala referred to the 1999 Kandahar plane hijack episode to attack the BJP, asking “didn’t the previous NDA government release (extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammad’s chief) Maulana Masood Azhar and others in Afghanistan?”