Patna, Jul 15: Patna’s senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manavjit Singh Dhillon on Thursday ignited a row after he drew parallels between the training of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and that of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), inviting an angry reaction from the ruling BJP which demanded his immediate ouster.
“Their (PFI’s) modus operandi was to act like an RSS shakha where lathi training is given…they would call them for physical training but also brainwash and radicalize them. They train the youth under the guise of physical education and spread propaganda.
We got documents of camps teaching martial arts and training members to use sticks and swords under the guise of physical training. The document was being used to radicalize, brainwash and mobilize people,” the SSP said at the press conference called to give details about the arrest of three PFI members on Wednesday and Thursday. The Bihar Police headquarters has taken cognizance of the statement after BJP demanded action against the police official. “We are getting the statement examined. If need be, action would be taken,” said additional director general (ADG) of police (headquarters) J S Gangwar. BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), which considers RSS its ideological mentor, said the police officer spoke like a spokesperson of PFI. “IAS and IPS officers are considered above politics and ideological influence. Patna SSP’s statement comparing PFI with RSS is shameful and seriously condemnable. He must apologize and resign,” said Bihar BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand. However, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s party HAM-S, which is a constituent of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar, supported the SSP. “He is unnecessarily being dragged into a controversy. If talking of the Islamic State is a crime, is it right to advocate for Hindu Rashtra,” said HAM-S spokesperson Danish Rizwan? Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party, the JD(U), refused to comment.
Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the main opposition party in Bihar, backed the police officer. “Patna’s senior superintendent of police has rightly said about the modus operandi of the Sangh that these people spread their propaganda and hatred in the name of physical training! And in some areas, they carry out riots, mob lynchings, and other anti-social activities,” the party tweeted from its official handle.