The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP call to smash jihadi cells

Chennai, Oct. 1: The BJP today rejected the view that terrorist attacks have risen despite the enactment of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, calling upon all state governments, including those ruled by the Congress and the Left, to take urgent steps to smash the “local logistical support cells of jihadi terrorism” sponsored by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was here today to mark “Anti-Terrorism Day”, said though the Centre should focus on welfare and development, “Left intellectuals” who sought to link terrorism’s root cause to socio-economic problems like as unemployment were untenable.

Such arguments are “diversionary tactics” from the seriousness of Pakistan-backed cross-border terrorism, which is part of its larger plan to “subvert India and weaken us economically and socially,” Naidu asserted.

Imam Ali, the dreaded terrorist who was killed in Bangalore on Sunday, also possessed a photograph of Osama bin Laden.

Naidu appealed to the people to see through the much deeper game-plan of “terrorist forces using religion as a cover”.

The main objective behind observing an anti-terrorist day across the country today was not only to highlight cross-border terrorism, but also to drive home the need to be vigilant against Pakistan’s “state policy of terrorism” and its proxy war against India, he said.

Naidu was emphatic that the Pakistani connection had been established clearly in the terrorist attack on Parliament in December last and the recent attack on the Swaminarayan temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Further, the ISI’s connections with the Coimbatore serial blasts in February, 1998, and the 1993 blast at the RSS office in Chennai have also come to light after Imam Ali’s death, solving a long-pending mystery, he said.

The BJP chief claimed that terrorists had received local support in terms of accommodation and logistical help in each of these incidents.

This showed the existence of a large number of “well-networked jihadi cells” operating in various parts of India and, in some places, even linked to underworld crime groups, he said.

Therefore, irrespective of the party in power in the various states, local “jihadi support cells” should be smashed as a national mission, Naidu said. These cells have nothing to do with religion because no religion espoused terrorism, he added.

“Support to terrorists and anti-national activities, inspired by the misleading propaganda of religious extremism is also irreligious in nature,” Naidu said, cautioning against any go-slow tactic in this regard. People of every community must oppose it, and it should be “neutralised” by the police and security forces, the BJP leader added.

Expressing disappointment with Western powers for not exerting enough pressure on Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism, Naidu said it was time the Centre and the states prepared a ‘National Register of Citizens’ and issued multipurpose identity cards to all citizens. This would go a long way in tackling infiltration and terrorism, he added.

On National Conference president Omar Abdullah hinting that his party would pull out of the NDA, Naidu said: “We are waiting for the outcome of the election in J&K and we will also see what the NC’s final decision is.” However, he clarified, the BJP will not persuade anybody to stay back in the NDA.

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