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MHA Refuses to Toe Rahul Line on ISI-UP Riot Story

Author: Aman Sharma
Publication: The Times of India
Date: December 12, 2013

The Union Home Ministry has told Parliament that it has no input about Pakistan’s ISI contacting riot-hit Muslim youths of Muzzafarnagar, officially contradicting Congress VP Rahul Gandhi’s remark to this effect at a rally few weeks ago.

“As per the information made available by intelligence agency, there are no inputs suggesting any link between ISI and the Muslim youth belonging to families of minority community affected in the recent communal riots in Muzzafarnagar,” the Home Ministry told Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a question from BJP MP Thaawar Chand Gehlot.

Shinde had refused to comment on Gandhi’s statement. At a rally in Indore on October 24, Gandhi had said that he had been briefed by an intelligence officer regarding developments in Muzzafarnagar. “Two days ago, an intelligence officer walked into my office and said there were 10-15 Muslim boys in Muzzafarnagar who have lost their family members in riots and people from Pakistan are starting to contact them,” Gandhi claimed at the Indore rally.

He had said that it was officials from ISI, “who had started to talk” to these Muslim youths. “The intelligence officer told me that he is also speaking to these boys, trying to tell them not to be influenced by words of Pakistan Intelligence people,” Gandhi had said at Indore. The Election Commission had cautioned Gandhi for his comments.

Gehlot told ET: “Rahul should be asked how he made the said statement at a public rally when the MHA has denied having any such input. Who is lying, the ministry or Rahul Gandhi?”

Gehlot also questioned how Gandhi could make such a major public statement without being sure of the matter. “Is the MHA now lying to save itself the embarrassment of answering why an intelligence officer had gone and briefed Gandhi? I am not convinced,” Gehlot said. BJP’s PM candidate Modi had claimed during the poll campaign that it was a police officer of Rajasthan, who wanted to contest assembly elections on a Congress ticket, that gave the said information to Rahul Gandhi, who in turn had used it in his speech.

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