New Delhi, Oct 25: Former Intelligence Bureau director Arun Bhagat has expressed concern over Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi being provided with intelligence inputs.
Describing it as an imprudent step, Bhagat said Gandhi’s claim to being informed about Pakistani intelligence contacting disgruntled Muzaffarnagar youths after last month’s riots, is a serious matter, and if true, needs to be avoided at all costs.
“People who occupy higher positions have to be very, very careful with their words. They have to measure their responses and their utterances, so that there is no fall out in them. This, I feel, may be considered to be imprudent, or an indiscretion by some,” Bhagat said.
Bhagat said the source of the information needed to be investigated promptly, as it is also possible that Gandhi was not officially briefed, but was told of this development during a casual interaction.
“It is serious in the way the statement is being made by a political leader, who holds a very high office in the Congress Party, and therefore, it has great significance. The question arises about the source, he has quoted. He has said that he was informed by an intelligence officer. So, the question also arises if it is normal for political leaders, who are not in the government, to be briefed in this manner,” Bhagat said.
“It is also possible that the briefing was not a regular briefing, but from an official whom he knows. We have to realize that the Gandhis’ have been connected with the government at the Centre for four generations now. So, it is possible that this was a casual conversation with an officer who is presently serving in the Intelligence Bureau, or any other security agency, because Mr. Gandhi has said so,” he added.
The former IB Director also revealed that approaches from fundamentalists and Islamic tanzeems has been going on for quite some time. He said Indian youth have often been misled, misguided and brainwashed into committing acts of terror.
“All very known factors, but the point is that this statement has great significance and ramifications, which are not only internal matters, but also brings up external relationship issues,” he added.
On Thursday, while maintaining his claim that the BJP has been igniting communal fires across the country, Gandhi revealed at a rally in Indore that 10 to 15 Muslim boys, who had lost their families in the recent riots in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, are being contacted by Pakistani intelligence.
“Day before yesterday, a police officer came to my office. He told me that in Muzaffarnagar there are 10 to 15 Muslim boys, who have lost their brothers and sisters in the riots. He told me that people from the Pakistan intelligence agencies are starting to talk to surviving victims of Muzaffarnagar. The police officer told me that he is trying to dissuade the youth,” Gandhi said in Indore.
Targetting the BJP, the Congress number two alleged that the opposition party is solely interested in gathering votes, while it is left to the ruling party to cool down tempers that arise in the aftermath of communal violence.
Violence broke out in the Kawal area of Muzaffarnagar on August 27, when members of a community returning from a panchayat meeting in Naglabadhod, three kilometres from Kawal, clashed with members of another community. (ANI)