New Delhi: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has hit back at Shiv Sena for its proposal to ban the burqa in public places. Athawale said, “Not all women who wear the burqa are terrorists. If they are terrorists their burqa should be removed. It’s a tradition and they have the right to wear it, there shouldn’t be a ban on the burqa in India.”

Notably, the Hindu Sena had also written to the Home Ministry demanding a complete ban on burqa at public places and government and private institutions after the Sri Lankan government proposed a burqa ban to prevent terror attacks like the Easter Sunday blasts.

In a letter to Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Hindu Sena national president Vishnu Gupta said intelligence failures in Sri Lanka led to synchronized suicide bombings by terrorists in churches in the island nation recently, resulting in more than 250 deaths.

The letter read: “We request you to immediately formulate policies at both tactical and strategic levels to prevent the occurrence of such attacks in India and Indian territories, including embassies and high commissions, all across the world.”  Urging a ban on full-face covers and dresses at all public places and inside government and private institutions, Gupta said, “These kinds of head coverings enable terrorists to hide their identity from CCTV cameras and other surveillance measures in place. Sri Lanka has already implemented this policy.”

Sri Lanka enforced a burqa ban on Monday, a week after suicide bombers claiming links to Islamic State engaged in suicide bombings, that claimed the lives of over 250 people in churches and hotels on Easter Sunday. With the burqa ban, Sri Lanka joins the group of nations in Asia, Africa, and Europe that have done so in the interest of preventing terrorists from using the burqa to evade police or hide explosives.

(With agency inputs)