Ahmed Patel Writes to Rajnath After Accusations of Supporting ISIS
A suspected ISIS operative used to work at a hospital where Congress’ Ahmed Patel had been a trustee earlier.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel, accused of having links with ISIS by the BJP, wrote a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday, 29 October, asking him to take stock of the matter.
Patel also asked Singh to instruct the agencies to probe the issue in an 'impartial and objective manner.’
Two alleged ISIS operatives were arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad from Surat on Wednesday, 25 October. Patel said the guilty, “irrespective of faith or any affiliation,” must be brought to justice, adding that the government had his unstinted support in the matter.
He said the framing of terror charges must be done by agencies and not political leaders in press conferences from party headquarters, adding that national security matters can't be prisoners of politics.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had, on Friday, 27 October, demanded Patel’s resignation as Rajya Sabha MP, alleging that a suspected ISIS operative arrested recently used to work at a hospital where Patel had been a trustee earlier.
According to an FIR, one of the accused, Kasim Stimberwala, worked as a technician at Sardar Patel Hospital in Ankleshwar town of Bharuch district.
Imagine what would have happened if these two terrorists were not arrested... Patel, Rahul Gandhi and the Congress must come clean on the issue. We also want Patel to resign as a Rajya Sabha MP.Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat
Patel rejected the charge as “completely baseless” and urged the BJP not to politicise matters pertaining to national security and divide peace-loving Gujaratis.
BJP Lashes out, Demands Explanation From Gandhis
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the Congress “owes an explanation as to how a terrorist had been working there for so long.” The two ISIS suspects “were planning attacks on a Jewish religious place,” he added.
At a press conference on Saturday, 28 October, the BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “Congress must come clean, else blot on them will be larger than that for corruption. After a few days people will start saying ‘Congress ka haath aatank ke sath’ like they used to say earlier ‘Congress ka hath corruption ke saath’. Congress has a history of favouring anti-national elements.”
Instead of taking action, the Congress is busy accusing the BJP of politicising the issue. This makes Ahmed Patel even more questionable. Terror suspect’s link to hospital is a serious issue. It’s a matter of national security. We want Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to give clarification.Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Congress’ Defence: Of Glass Houses & Stones
On Saturday, senior Congress leaders and former finance minister P Chidambaram dubbed the BJP’s demand for Ahmed Patel’s resignation “outrageous”.
I’m amazed by this kind of outrageous demands. Ahmed Patel was a trustee of the hospital and had resigned in 2015. This person who was arrested seems to have joined the hospital as a technician last year and had resigned a couple of days prior to his arrest. Now, if somebody who has joined in the last one year as a technician has ISIS connect, then how a trustee of three years ago is responsiP Chidamabaram
Congress in-charge of communications Randeep Surjewala on Friday said, “A frustrated BJP facing imminent defeat in Gujarat is resorting to levelling reckless and baseless allegations against Ahmed Patel.”
“The BJP is being shown the door by 6.5 crore Gujaratis and a defeated BJP is clutching onto the polarising straws of blatant lies to reset the agenda. It will never succeed in its sinister conspiracies,” the Congress leader said.
He further explained that the Sardar Patel Hospital where the arrest was made was a charitable hospital in which 150-200 employees work and neither Ahmed Patel nor any of his family members was a trustee of the hospital. He said the ATS should initiate a probe against the suspected terrorists if it has evidence.
“The Congress has always fought against terrorism while the BJP has had an opposite record. Would Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah explain how terrorist Dawood Ibrahim's wife came to Mumbai under their nose in March 2016 and then left the country. How the Maharashtra government and intelligence agencies didn't even get a whiff of it and could not arrest her?” asked Surjewala in response.
Is it not true that the BJP-PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir gave compensation to the family of terrorist Burhan Wani in December 2016?
He further said that some Islamic State agents arrested in Madhya Pradesh were found to have links with the BJP. “One of them Dhruv Saxena, was also a member of BJP's IT cell,” he said.
Surjewala also pointed out that the previous NDA government had released dreaded terrorists like Maulana Masood Azhar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh from the Indian custody in the Kandahar hijacking incident. “A Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse had to resign for his alleged links with Dawood. So, the BJP should look inwards before pointing fingers at others.”
JDU Joins the Bandwagon
The Janata Dal United faction led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also demanded a "free and fair probe" into the allegations.
The allegations made against Ahmed Patel are very serious in nature. We demand a free and fair probe.KC Tyagi, spokesperson, JDU
He also said that and if anyone's "role is established then the law must act".
On the issue of national security, we are very straight that there will be no compromise with it. Let the law take its own course. If anyone is found guilty then he should be punished.
(With PTI, IANS and ANI inputs)
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