Days after a court convicted 49 people for the Ahmedabad serial blasts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he had vowed to punish the perpetrators even if they took refuge in “paatal”, and accused the Samajwadi Party of being sympathetic to such terrorists.
Addressing a BJP campaign rally in Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh, PM Modi slammed the Samajwadi Party for being sympathetic towards terrorists and claimed that the previous government headed by it had sought to withdraw cases against several terror accused.
PM Modi said, “When I was the chief minister of Gujarat, the Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts took place. I can never forget that day when the earth was reddened by the blood of the victims of the serial blasts. There were uncontrolled tears. I picked up the blood-soaked soil and took a ‘sankalp’ (vow) that my government will track these terrorists, even from ‘paataal’ (netherworld), and punish them.”
“I remained silent for so many years because the hearing on the Ahmedabad blasts case was going on. Today, when the court has given them the punishment, I am raising the subject before the country,” he told the rally.
On February 18, a special court in Ahmedabad had sentenced to death 38 members of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen in the 2008 serial blasts case. The court also sentenced 11 other convicts to life imprisonment.
“Those who wanted to destroy us — the Indians — have been punished by the court…. You all know that when there is a terrorist attack and when terrorism increases, the maximum loss is borne by the poor and the middle class. The life of common people, trade and tourism are affected following a terror attack,” he said.
“Today, I am referring to this, because some political parties have become kind on the terrorists. The blasts were done in two ways. The first one was done in the city at 50-60 places, and then after two hours, a blast took place in a vehicle in a hospital, as relatives, officials and leaders would be going there. A number of people also died there,” he said and added that it was perhaps for the first time that blasts took place in hospitals.
Mocking the Samajwadi Party and its election symbol ‘bicycle’, PM Modi said, “…in the initial blasts, the bombs were kept on cycles…I wonder why they (terrorists) opted cycles.”
The prime minister said when the Samajwadi Party came to power in Uttar Pradesh its government tried to withdraw a case against Shamim Ahmed who was an accused in the bomb blasts in Sankat Mochan Temple and Cantt railway station in Varanasi in 2006.
“In 2007, blasts took place in court premises in Ayodhya and Lucknow. In 2013, the Samajwadi government withdrew the case against Tariq Kazmi. But the court did not allow the conspiracy of the Samajwadi government to work and he was given life imprisonment,” Modi said.
“In 14 cases pertaining to terror attacks in UP, the Samajwadi government ordered the withdrawal of cases lodged against many terrorists. These people were indulging in explosions, and the Samajwadi government did not allow these terrorists to be prosecuted,” he said.
He termed the withdrawal of cases against terrorists a “return gift”.
The prime minister urged the media to place before the nation the facts and the judgement given by the court in the blasts case.
“This truth should come before the country and the media should also contribute to the country’s security,” he said.
Accusing some political parties of being soft on terrorists, PM Modi said, “Some political parties have been kind to terrorists. These political parties have been soft on terrorism owing to the consideration of votebank. This is very dangerous for the country’s security. Hence, every citizen must know about this.”
Intensifying his attack further, PM Modi said, “Some days they will insult the Indian Army, while some other days they will insult the police. On the other hand, our government has made the National War Memorial and the National Police Memorial. We give respect to every martyr.” PM Modi said the people here have seen how the Samajwadi Party when in government gave a free hand to those using ‘katta’ (country-made pistols) and its cadres.
“People of Hardoi have seen those days when these people had given a free hand to those using ‘katta’ and those in ‘satta’ (power),” he said.
Sharpening his attack, PM Modi said, “The attitude of Samajwadi Party and Congress leaders is more dangerous. These people call a terrorist like Osama (Bin Laden) with ji (honorific). These people shed tears on the death of terrorists involved in the Batla House encounter…. We have to remain alert of such people and such political parties. They can even put the country at stake for the chair. They also play with the security of the country.”
The prime minister also targeted the rival parties over the politics of appeasement.
“Those who used to stop our festivals owing to their politics of appeasement, they will get an answer from the people of Uttar Pradesh on March 10,” he said.
Results of the seven-phase assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will be announced on March 10.