New Delhi, April 8 : The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Wednesday lashed out at the Tablighi Jamaat for shooting the messenger.
India's largest independent news agency, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), on Wednesday sent a legal notice to a member of the Tablighi Jamaat after he attempted to selectively harass and criminally intimidate the agency's media subscribers for running an IANS exclusive report on the Islamic missionary's dubious background on their digital editions.
In a reaffirmation to the IANS exclusive report on the Islamic missionary's dubious background, the VHP claimed the organisation indeed had links with terror outfits.
"Aaj khoj kar rahe hai log... WTC (World Trade Centre in the US) me humla karne wale... inka sambandho bhi Nizamuddin se huya karte the (Today people are probing into the matter how those who attacked the WTC too had relations with the Nizamuddin Markaz)," claimed Surendra Jain, Joint General Secretary of VHP.
Meanwhile, the ruling BJP too came down hard on the Tablighis. "The IANS report was absolutely factual. Members of the Tablighi Jamaat are spreading the virus. They are attacking personnel from medical, police and media fraternity. Whatever IANS has said in its report is right. We demand strict actions against Tablighi Jamaat," said BJP spokesperson Vijay Sonkar Shastri.
Bangalore resident and a self-proclaimed member of Tablighi Jamaat, Hafeezulla Khan's lawyer had sent a legal notice to IANS subscribers for carrying the report "Tablighi Jamaat shares links with terror outfits." Represented by Hammurabi & Solomon Partners, IANS in its counter notice called out Khan's "malafide and deliberate attempt to intimidate" its subscribers and "attempt to misuse the due process of law." The IANS in its notice said that Khan had attempted to misuse the due process of law for his ulterior and malicious objectives and as a counterblast to the action taken by enforcement agencies across the country and the due reporting of the misdeeds and illegal acts of Jamaat by the current affairs media.
BJP's economic wing head Gopal Krishna Agarwal also threw his weight behind the credibility of the IANS news report. "The news report by IANS is based on facts. From its very inception, Tablighi Jamaat has been under the cloud of suspension. By resorting to such acts, they are simply exposing their organisation," he said.
"We are just around Shab-e-Barat. It demands those who practice Islam confess their sins. But they (Tablighi Jamaatis) are harassing health workers at the hospitals and threatening the media," said VHP's Jain.
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP leader Aswini Upadhyay took to twitter to call it a matter of the pot calling the kettle black. He demanded that the National Investigative Agency (NIA), which is entrusted with the task of probing all terror related cases in India, should investigate the Tablighi Jamaat.
IANS has decided to stand by its legacy of fearless journalism and not take this criminal intimidation by the dubious Jamaat member lying down. The overwhelming support pouring in from different quarters only strengthens its stand.