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Temple-mosque 'imbroglio' useless: Shatrughan

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 27, 2006 18:18 IST
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Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shatrughan Sinha on Friday regretted that political parties were caught in an 'imbroglio' over temples and mosques.

Addressing a function organised by All India Anti-Terrorist Front chief M S Bitta to mark the first anniversary of last year's pre-Diwali bomb blasts in Delhi, Sinha said: "In Mumbai, we use a term called 'lafra' (imbroglio). Political parties are engaged in the temple-mosque 'lafra.' Instead, they should be working like Bitta to build humanity."

Sinha, who made no mention of tough anti-terror laws like POTA that his party is supportive of, maintained that fast-track courts should be set up instead to try terror cases.

The BJP leader took a dig at the government for 'conflicting' statements over the suspected role of Pakistan in the Mumbai train bombings.

The Rajya Sabha member, whose recent praise for Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son Rahul Gandhi upset many in the BJP, said personally, he was opposed to capital punishment.

"As an artiste, I am not in favour of sentencing anybody to death," he said in an apparent reference to clemency calls for Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal. However, he said that such moves had also left him surprised because death sentence had Constitutional mandate in the country.

Advocating the setting up of fast-track courts to try suspected terrorists, Sinha regretted what he called a 14-year delay in convictions in the Bombay serial blasts.

Earlier, the BJP leader honoured those bereaved in last year's pre-Diwali explosions in Delhi. The AIATF presented a cheque for Rs 1,00,000 to Kuldeep Singh, a DTC bus driver who lost his eyesight as an unclaimed bag carrying explosives exploded immediately after he hurled it out of the vehicle to save his passengers.

The AIATF pledged Rs 1,00,000 each and full support until their marriage to five children who lost their parents in the deadly explosions that ripped through Sarojini Nagar, Pahar Ganj and Govindpuri markets last year.

In his speech, Bitta, a former Youth Congress leader, opposed clemency calls for Afzal and suggested a Punjab-type iron-fisted approach to deal with terrorism. He flayed politicians, without naming anybody, for their calls to commute the death sentence of Afzal into life imprisonment.

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