Friday, October 10, 2008

UPA may ask Orissa for Bajrang Dal dossier, looking at Governor’s report

NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 9 With some key allies demanding a ban on the Bajrang Dal for its alleged role in violence against Christians in Orissa, the UPA Government plans to seek a detailed report from the Naveen Patnaik government on the activities of the outfit in the state.

Sources in Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Indian Express that data relating to the alleged involvement of the Bajrang Dal in fomenting communal violence has already been collected from other states. “But so far, there is no decision to recommend a ban on the outfit. Any decision in this regard will be taken after scrutinising whatever details we get from Orissa and various agencies,” a senior official said.

The UPA is divided over the issue of banning the Bajrang Dal. While key allies like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ramvilas Paswan are all for an immediate ban, others, some senior Congress ministers included, maintain that a ban is possible only if there is adequate evidence that can stand legal scrutiny.

At the Cabinet meeting yesterday, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said his ministry had collected some evidence against the Bajrang Dal but more evidence was needed to firm up a case for a ban.

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