The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has issued a legal notice to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, accusing him of making defamatory remarks against the Bajrang Dal in his party’s Karnataka poll manifesto and demanding a compensation of more than Rs 100 crore.
The notice was issued by the Chandigarh unit of the VHP and its youth wing Bajrang Dal on May 4, demanding the compensation within 14 days.
There was no immediate response from Congress on the queries sent to the party in this regard.
Also read: Cong trying to mock Hindu faith by proposing ban on Bajrang Dal: Yogi
In its poll manifesto for May 10 assembly polls in Karnataka, the Congress said it is committed to take firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations such as the Bajrang Dal and the Popular Front of India (PFI) “spreading hatred” among communities on grounds of caste and religion.
The action will include a “ban” against such organisations, the party promised.
“That in the manifesto at Page 10, you made defamatory statements against the Bajrang Dal, associate body of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad by declaring to ban the organisation and comparing it to outlawed terrorist organisations like the Popular Front of India and similar terrorist organisations like Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which are outlawed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by the Government of India,” VHP’s lawyer and co-head of its legal cell Sahil Bansal charged in the legal notice.
“The PFI and SIMI are terrorist organisations associated with Al Qaeda and ISIS and other global terrorist organisations proscribed by the United Nations General Assembly and by more than 100 nations as well as proscribed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,” he added.
Bansal claimed the Bajrang Dal “believes in universalism, tolerance, dharmic unity, national integrity and service towards Bharat Mata and in doing so seeks inspiration from the reverential example of Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman who are the ideal embodiment of Dharma and Service”.
The Bajrang Dal is “totally devoted to the service of dharma and in doing so devoted to the service of mankind”, the VHPs counsel said, adding, “Unto that end the credentials of the Bajrang Dal are unassailable and unimpeachable.”
“That the defamatory statement which you made in the election manifesto and its subsequent release in general public is having a tendency to injure the reputation of my client, lower them in the estimation of others and bring them in obliquity contempt and ridicule,” he charged Kharge in the legal notice.
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“My client demands special damages on account of injury inflicted to their reputation, honour due to the statement/averments, which you have made in the election manifesto,” he said.
The VHP counsel “advised” Kharge to pay a total of Rs 100.10 crore to the VHP and Bajrang Dal within 14 days of the issuance of the legal notice.
(With Agency inputs)