BJP hijacks anti-terror campaign…

A 45-day programme to create awareness about terrorism among college students across Karnataka turned into a full-fledged BJP event...

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore | Published:March 2, 2009 12:58 am

A 45-day programme to create awareness about terrorism among college students across Karnataka turned into a full-fledged BJP event at a massive valedictory in Bangalore on Saturday.

At the final meeting of the programme attended by nearly 30,000 students from around Bangalore,BJP leader and Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani said security of the common man had become a bigger source of concern than price rise or unemployment. He said India needed to adopt a zero-tolerance policy to terrorism like US and Israel.

He questioned the delay in the death sentence for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. “His name happens to be Afzal Guru. Had he been some Anand Singh or Anand Mohan he would have been hanged,” Advani said.

On the sidelines of the event,Advani however condemned the attack on women at a Mangalore pub,saying,“It’s basically against Indian culture and ethos.”

The initial enthusiasm of students who gathered for the event began flagging as leader after leader gave long speeches on countering terrorism. “I came to learn how to help fight terrorism and got to hear political speeches. The most motivating talk was given by Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s father,” a college student said as she left the venue with friends.

The father of the NSG commando who died battling terrorists during the 26/11 attack said his son had willingly taken on death. “He told his mother he would lead from the front if an occasion arose,” Unnikrishnan said.

He extolled students to be fearless and to consider careers in the defence forces.

The event organised under the leadership of state Higher Education Minister Arvind Limbavalli has been criticized by the Congress and the NSUI. The opposition has accused the BJP government of packing campaign committees for the programme with student leaders linked to the Sangh Parivar. There has also been criticism of the programme assuming a communal tenor instead of addressing terrorism as a universal problem.

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