Militant recruitment at Indian relief camp causes political infighting
- POSTED: 08 Jan 2014 18:55
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Indian political parties have resorted to fighting one another over the revelation that a banned militant outfit has been trying to recruit refugees at relief camps.
NEW DELHI: Police in India are looking into claims that a banned militant outfit has been trying to recruit refugees at relief camps.
Camps have been set up in the country's north following communal riots in September and it is alleged that the victims have been targeted to carry out terror acts.
In November, there were children’s deaths at the Muzaffarnagar relief camp in India's northern province of Uttar Pradesh.
Barely a month later, reports emerged showing the difficult plight of refugees displaced by deadly riots. Now, the makeshift tents in an open field are in the eye of another storm.
Some of the victims claim they were approached for recruitment by operatives of a banned militant outfit, who were trying to tap their anger at being displaced in sectarian violence five months ago.
The militant group is Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, which was responsible for attacks on the Indian Parliament in 2001 and on Mumbai in 2008.
The men approached claim they were offered money in exchange for their involvement in a kidnapping plot, but instead they informed the Special Cell of the Delhi Police.
Despite the potential security breach, political parties have resorted to fighting one another over the revelation.
"This is a matter of national security. It is unfortunate that political parties, both ruling parties at the centre and the state, are playing politics over such a national security related matter,” said Venkaiah Naidu, federal opposition leader.
“It shows that these parties, Congress and Samajwadi (ruling party in Uttar Pradesh), are only playing vote bank politics and they do not bother about the security of their country."
In October, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi alleged that intelligence officers had told him about a foreign intelligence agency trying to recruit angry youth from Muzaffarnagar.
The claim caused a political slugfest with the opposition who questioned the logic of security agencies revealing sensitive information to a political party's vice president.
The federal home ministry was quick to dispatch the Special Cell's sleuths to Muzaffarnagar.
The government has been quick to point out that the allegation has validated the claim their leader made three months ago, leading to accusations from its rivals that the party is attempting to politicise the potential terror threat.
"I think those who believe in the politics of polarisation, who believe in the politics of communalism, should become cognisant about the damage which they can do to the idea of India," said Manish Tewari, federal ruling party leader.
"This had to happen because this information was given by (Rahul) Gandhi way back, and Congress would do everything to make their prince's statement true," said Azam Khan, provincial government leader.
Even as various political groups blame each other of using the communally-charged atmosphere to their advantage, police are looking for more militant recruiters while trying to ensure vulnerable refugees do not fall prey to opportunistic militants.