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Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi Objects to Term 'Hindu Terror', Says Only Court Can Decide

Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi retires this weekend and is likely to be replaced by Rajiv Gauba, who was appointed as Officer on Special Duty in the Ministry of Home Affairs, earlier this year.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:August 30, 2017, 3:12 PM IST
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New Delhi: Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has said that he takes strong objection to the term “Hindu terror” and that the court will decide whether the NIA investigations in the case were flawed.

"This really angers and annoys me as an Indian that we start giving religious labels to terrorism. Terror is terror, and it does not matter what religion it belongs to. It is unfair to call the cases Hindu terror, saffron terror or green terror. NIA investigations go through a court process and the judiciary is not there to lap up everything that NIA gives. If the NIA had done an unfair investigation, courts shouldn't have accepted that," said Mehrishi.

The word “Saffron Terror” entered the political lexicon during UPA-2, when then Home Minister P Chidambaram used it to caution security establishments, in the wake of Malegaon blast investigations. The NIA was handed over the probe of the blasts, which led to the arrest of Colonel Purohit, among others. Purohit was granted bail by the Supreme Court last week after spending more than 8 years behind bars.

The Home Secretary retires on Wednesday and is likely to be replaced by Rajiv Gauba, who was appointed as Officer on Special Duty in the Ministry of Home Affairs, earlier this year.

In an exclusive interview to News18, Mehrishi made it clear that the Centre will not interfere if the National Investigation Agency needed to arrest Hurriyat Conference leaders to further probe terror funding across the border.

The civil servant also gave credit to the people of Kashmir for what he called “turnaround in security situation” in the valley. "Kashmiri kids are very smart and talented. 17 kids have joined civil services this year, despite all the troubles — which is proof of their doggedness. Recently, a team from the state went to play football in Scotland and 4-5 boys are being considered for second-tier English football league. That's the kind of talent that exists," said the Home Secretary.

The 62-year-old added that “under and over invoicing of cross-border trade goods is known to us”; but the government will deal with it in on a case-to-case basis.

However, he clarified that there was no proposal to ban cross-border trade between India and Pakistan.

Speaking on the recent violence in Panchkula, 1978-batch IAS officer clarified that the Centre at no point mulled imposing President's Rule in Haryana and that he had no information on state DGP being removed. "I don't think the situation came to a point where we could have said that there was a failure of constitutional machinery. There was a disturbance for 24 hours, then it came down. I don't think it can be classified as a failure of constitutional machinery, so there was no question of a stronger step. It is the Chief Minister's prerogative as to who he wants as DGP," he said.

Mehrishi also touched upon the SC order seeking NIA investigation on ‘love jihad’, and said that it was too premature to say if conversion were taking place through allurement or whether there was a terror link to it.

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