A sedition case was Wednesday filed against Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Assam’s Morigaon district for allegedly revering Jaish-e- Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar by suffixing honorific “ji” to his name. RTI activist Raju Mahanta filed the complaint, contending that the Congress chief has shown his “anti-India stance by addressing a terrorist with a ‘ji’”, Pradip Nath, the officer-in-charge of Morigaon police station.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the BJP and a section of media for deliberately twisting Gandhi’s remarks.
Another Union minister Smriti Irani also took a swipe at Gandhi. “What is common between Rahul Gandhi and Pakistan? Their love for terrorists. Please note Rahul ji’s reverence for terrorist Masood Azhar – a testimony to #RahulLovesTerrorists,” she tweeted.
In turn, Surjewala used the hashtag “BJP loves terrorists”.
Targeting the Congress chief, BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Come on Rahul Gandhi Ji! Earlier it was the likes of Digvijay Ji who called Osama Ji and Hafiz Saeed Sahab. Now you are saying ‘Masood Azhar Ji’. What is happening to Congress Party?”
An FIR has been registered in the case and police are investigating the matter, Nath added. Azhar’s outfit had plotted the February 14 Pulwama terrorist attack, which killed 40 CRPF personnel. On Tuesday, a social activist in Bihar had also filed a case against Gandhi in a Muzaffarpur court, asserting that the Congress chief’s reference to JeM head as “Masood Azhar ji” has hurt people’s sentiments.
At a meeting of Congress workers in New Delhi on Monday, Gandhi had attacked the BJP, saying, “These people with 56-inch chest, you would recall, in their previous government, the current National Security Advisor Ajit Doval went in an aircraft with Masood Azhar ji and handed over Masood Azhar there in Kandahar.”