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Hindutva brigade prepares for carpet-bombing in Gujarat
Sheela Bhatt in Ahmedabad
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December 05, 2007 18:27 IST
Last Updated: December 05, 2007 19:26 IST

On Tuesday, at an election rally in Mangrol, south Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] justified the encounter of Rajasthan gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh by the Gujarat police.

The fake encounter, which the Gujarat government had admitted to in the Supreme Court, was so heinous that even the dead body of Sohrabuddin's wife Kausar Bi has not been found yet.

Two inquiries have been conducted into the case and Deputy Inspector General D G Vanzara, who masterminded the encounter, has been arrested along with his partners in crime.

One of the inquiries had indicated that Kausar's body was burnt and the remains of her body were disposed of in a river.

When asked why Modi was raking up the Sohrabuddin issue, a minister in Modi's cabinet told, "Sonia Gandhi [Images] called Chief Minister Narendra Modi a 'merchant of death'. We were provoked by her comments and we have replied to that by stating that we have fought against the merchants of death."

The minister added, "How do you explain the fact that Gujarat has not witnessed any terrorist attacks? It is because we are fighting against them with a firm hand."

The minister said, "The issue of Afzal Guru, reservation to minorities, the Sachchar Committee report, supporting dreaded criminals like Sohrabuddin, bomb blasts across India are the relevant issues we will repeatedly rake up."

Hindus, Muslims, Hindutva, Narendra Modi, Congress party, secularism, pseudo-secularism, communalism, Italy [Images], Miyan Mushrraf, the Sohrabuddin encounter and the English media are some of the names and terms which have assumed multiple meaning during the current election campaign in Gujarat.

"I haven't seen the actual transcript of Modi's speech on Sohrabuddin. But if he has really exposed Sohrabuddin's character, then he will surely get support from those Hindus who have been sulking as they feel Modi is not upholding the cause of the Hindu community," said a senior journalist.

Even after Modi justified the Sohrabuddin encounter and incited the audience to support this cold-blooded crime by the Gujarat police, most Congressmen believe that this issue should not be given too much prominence as it will give an advantage to Modi.

A section of the Gujarati press, which is against the Modi government, did not highlight Modi's controversial speech. The speech was played up by the national media, particularly English TV channels.

According to sources in the BJP, raking up the Soharbuddin case is just a "trailer" in the election-eve madness. Over 250 sadhus and sadhvis, including Uma Bharati and Sadhvi Ritimbhara, are arriving in Gujarat by November 8-9 to attract the votes of the Hindu community. They will travel across Gujarat and discuss the issue of 'appeasement' of Muslims by the Manmohan Singh [Images] led government of the United Progressive Alliance.

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