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IC-814 not refuelled in Amritsar: BJP
Onkar Sngh in New Delhi | February 08, 2008 18:18 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party categorically denied that IC-814, which was hijacked by terrorists in 1999, had been supplied with refuelling facilities at Rajasansi airport in Amritsar [Images] when it was grounded there.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, official spokesman of the party, was speaking at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday.
"There was no refuelling in Amritsar," he said, but refused to identify the person who called up Amritsar control tower and asked them to provide refuelling as directed by officials of the Home Ministry.
"The comments of the Congress against the National Democratic Alliance government and L K Advani on the issue of handling terrorism is not only amusing, but also is an attempt to hide its own dismal record which had led to the growth, consolidation and spread of the menace of terrorism in the country, leading to the loss of more than 70,000 lives so far. If Jammu & Kashmir simmers even today, if the North-East continues to be in turmoil with anti-India sentiments, if the Naxalite problem has acquired menacing proportions, it is because of the Congress," he said.
When asked what forced former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh to accompany the three terrorists, he said, "We agreed to this exchange because lives of over 200 persons were at stake and let me tell you that it was the Congress party which had demanded that the government should ensure safe release of passengers. Terrorists had originally asked for release of 36, but we agreed for only three. As far as terrorists involved in the Parliament attack and Akshardham, they were killed on the spot. Gujarat remained free of terrorist violence because of Modi's strong stance."
"Here when a terrorist is arrested, the prime minister says do not harass minorities. Does he lose sleep when innocents are killed by the terrorists? When we ruled, we eliminated over 300 sleeper cells. I would like to ask the Congress government how many have been liquidated during their time," he said.
Prasad also wanted to know why Abdul Nasser Mahdani, the mastermind of the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blast case, was let scot-free.
"Has he been acquitted by the trail court by a judgment which is highly vulnerable in law. Why no appeal is being allowed to be filed by the prosecution against the said order when they have a friendly government in Tamil Nadu and the CBI is under their control," he asked.