Tuesday, Apr 09, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI APRIL 8. The Congress has come down hard on the BJP, especially the Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat, for the attack on journalists on Sunday. A day after the party president, Sonia Gandhi, condemned the attack, the party spokesperson, Anand Sharma, said the attack was a symptom of the "fascist and intolerant nature of the BJP'' Mr. Sharma said the attack was a grim pointer of the shape of things to come. " We warn the people of the grave danger posed by the Sangh Parivar''.
Attempts to "intimidate and gag the free press amounted to an infringement of the Constitutional rights of the people".
He criticised the Gujarat Government's decision to transfer officials and police officers who had acted against those indulging in violence. "There is a clear design to this, they want to reward their sympathisers and punish those who are upholding the law.''
The BJP also condemned the attack, and made it clear that all those held responsible for the violence by the inquiry commission would be severely dealt with. The party spokesperson and general secretary, Sunil Shastri, said that "all those found guilty will be severely dealt with. If the State cannot do it, then the central leadership will step in if necessary''.
He was, however, unwilling to concede that the president of the BJP youth wing had led Sunday's attack. "We are for peace and normalcy in the State, and no less a person than the Prime Minister has made this appeal for peace'' Mr. Shastri added.
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