New Delhi, June 15: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal have been left fuming as they have been listed as “religious militant organisations” by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), said media reports. In its recent edition of the World Factbook, the intelligence wing of the US government has categorised the organisations under ‘political pressure groups’ which are further defined as bodies involved in politics or those which exert political pressure even though their leaders do not stand for elections. (Also read: VHP Men Try to Vandalise Taj Mahal Gate)
Calling the report fake, VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal said, “We have asked the government of India to intervene and speak to us on the CIA report. The government should take this up with us. The CIA should apologise and work upon the report.” A report in Indiatoday.in said the VHP was threatening to launch an international movement against the CIA if it didn’t change its classification of the group as a religious militant organisation. The VHP said it’s a nationalist group which works for the betterment of the country, and called the CIA’s allegations “baseless” and “false”.
Meanwhile, the CIA has also listed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hurriyat Conference and Jamiat Ulema-e Hind among the political pressure groups in India. While it called the RSS a “nationalist organisation”, the agency termed Hurriyat Conference a “separatist group” and the Jamiat Ulema-e Hind a “religious organisation”.
Khemchand Sharma, former national convenor of the BJP’s Samvad cell, has rubbished the CIA’s assertions. Calling it “fake news”, he said legal action will be initiated against the agency. “We completely reject CIA reference to VHP and Bajrang dal as religious militant organizations.. these r the nationalist organizations, all knows it. Legal proceeding will be initiated against this reference soon,” Sharma tweeted.
The World Factbook is published annually to give intelligence or factual reference material on a country or issue to the US government. The agency has been publishing this material since 1962, but only made it public in 1975. The Factbook is produced for US policymakers.