Heated exchanges in Rajya Sabha over Samjhauta blast case

Referring to a video of a purported narco-test related to the train blast, being shown on a TV channel, BJP’s Shiv Pratap Shukla alleged that there was Pakistani involvement in the blast. He said the terror attack on the train was carried out by Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba and SIMI.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: July 28, 2017 1:20 am
Subramanian Swamy, Samjhauta Express blast, pakistan, Lashkar-e-Toiba, SIMI, Digvijaya Singh, rajya sabha BJP member Subramanian Swamy (PTI Photo/File)

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday witnessed heated exchanges between the treasury benches and Congress members as three BJP lawmakers, including Subramanian Swamy, raised the Samjhauta Express train blast case of 2005.

Referring to a video of a purported narco-test related to the train blast, being shown on a TV channel, BJP’s Shiv Pratap Shukla alleged that there was Pakistani involvement in the blast. He said the terror attack on the train, which plies between New Delhi and Lahore in Pakistan, was carried out by Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba and SIMI.

The BJP member added that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the then UPA government, however, coined the term “Hindu terrorism”. Insisting that Hindus cannot be terrorists, Shukla said the then UPA government had “betrayed” the country.

Joining the issue, Swamy said the House had the right to know whether it is a “fact that there is a video” and demanded an answer from the government. As he tried to make his point, the Congress’s Digvijaya Singh said it was an effort to save the accused in the blast. This led to heated verbal exchanges between members of the two sides. BJP member La Ganesan demanded that Congress openly tender an apology for coining “Hindu terrorism”. While he was speaking, Digvijaya Singh again tried to make his point. To this, Ganesan said: “Why are you bothered? … I am talking about SIMI”.

Singh alleged that there was “collusion” between the government and the TV channel, which played the video, and said the Home Ministry should authenticate the points raised by BJP members. To this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he would go through the record and if something has been quoted, it should be authenticated.

Pointing to rules, Congress’ Anand Sharma said matters which are pending judicial decisions should not be raised in the House. However, Kurien said it is not possible for the Rajya Sabha office to find if a matter is sub-judice or not.

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