Congress creates uproar in RS over ex-scribe Vaidik’s meeting with Hafiz Saeed
NEW DELHI: Opposition
Congress on Monday created uproar in Rajya Sabha over reported meeting of a
former journalist considered close to yoga guru Ramdev with 26/11 mastermind
and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, leading to two adjournments during
Though the government
clarified that it had nothing to do with it, Congress members sought a detailed
statement on the purpose and motive behind the meeting with India’s most wanted
said it was a matter of national interest and the journalist should have been
(Cong) raised the issue when the House met for the day seeking to know from
Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley if the meeting had
government’s sanction. Chairman Hamid Ansari disallowed him from raising the
issue saying this was not the occasion for it and took up the Question Hour. “Please
raise the matter appropriately…give notice and you will get an appropriate
response. Let the Question Hour proceed,” Ansari said.
Question Hour, a question has been called, allow it to be answered,” he told
the members. But the Congress members persisted with the issue, forcing Ansari
to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.
When the House
reassembled, Congress members again raised the issue, with senior member Anand
Sharma saying that Saeed is the most wanted terrorist not just in India but all
over the world.
kept saying the journalist was a key member of outfits close to BJP. Sharma
wanted to know from the government as to what action it proposed to take and
how can it allow an Indian citizen to meet Saeed.
arrest of the journalist, he said, “It is a matter of national security. Was
the government aware of this meeting and did it seek any information from the
Indian High Commission in Pakistan?” As the uproar continued, Ansari adjourned
the House till noon.
responded saying that for India, Hafiz is a terrorist and was indeed involved
in terrorism against India. Government of India has nothing to do with
“directly, indirectly or even remotely” with any journalist meeting Saeed, he
not sanctioned permission to anyone for meeting him (Saeed),” he said. Reports
said Ved Pratap Vaidik, a freelance journalist, had met the Jamaat-ud-Dawa
chief in Lahore on July 2 while touring Pakistan along with a group of
journalists and politicians invited by a peace research institute.
Saeed, the founder of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, of
orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed.
He is on India’s most wanted list and has a bounty of USD 10 million on him.