Shinde's comments based on facts: Khurshid

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday backed Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's "Hindu terror" comments, saying what he had said was "based on facts" as revealed by investigative agencies.

"Our stated position is based entirely on facts as the investigative agencies have made available to the government... Attempts to divert attention and to push it in a particular and premeditated direction by some people is repudiated by the information that is available," Khurshid told reporters.

"We have categorically said many times that any form of violence that is propagated by extremists of any kind, irrespective of religion, is what is dangerous for the country, terror does not have a religion," he added.

He also said that "religion should not be associated with terror, it is terror that we are fighting and those are the facts available... We should not be distracted by a phrase, the determination is what that matters".

Shinde had referred to "Hindu terrorism" and "saffron terrorism" during the Congress conclave in Jaipur Sunday.

"After investigations, we have seen that be it the BJP or the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism. This is a matter of concern. We are keeping a strict eye on it," Shinde had said in his speech.

The minister later clarified that he had only stated what has been appearing in the media and his reference was to "saffron terrorism".

The BJP has reacted very strongly to Shinde's statement and demanded he be sacked and an apology from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.