A furor caused in the social media when a picture of Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed and journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik, who is a close associate of Baba Ramdev, featured online. The buzz was brought to attention by Congress leader Digvijay Singh via Twitter, who went as far as asking if the journalist met with Saeed as the official representative of the Bharatiya Janata Party government.
Hafiz Saeed is believed to be the mastermind behind the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, rooting from his ties with the terror group Laskar-e-Taiba. He is among the most wanted criminals in India, and is still operating Jamaat-ud-Dawah from Lahore. Vaidik is supposed to have met with Saeed while he was touring the Pakistani city, being invited by a peace research institute.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev was also questioned by the media, and both him and Ved Pratap Vaidik underplayed the issue, by pointing that he only wanted to “influence the thinking” of the alleged terrorist. The BJP support of Baba Ramdev is what made the meeting all the more suspicious to the media.
The questioning by the Congress in the parliamentary session with regards to the visit wasn’t granted enough attention in the house. The Bharatiya Janata Party chose to distance itself from the move, claiming that it was an individual choice and visit, and the party can’t be asked to explain the decision.
Though questionable, the media can only limit its job to speculation since nothing was clear enough on the matter. The Congress’ coaxing in the matter might be just another attempt at raising controversies over the BJP government’s loyalties. On the other hand, the national interest in an issue as small as a visit can be justified as Hafiz Saeed and his connections remain to be a concern for India.
Image Source [Google]