BARPETA XATRA CONTROVERSY
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Aug 6: The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup (Metropolitan) Court on Saturday issued summons to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to appear before it on September 29 over his controversial remarks that he was denied entry into Barpeta Xatra, a 16th century Vaishvite mostery in the State, by the RSS on December 12 last year.
In its reaction, Sankar Das, NE Prachar Pramukh, RSS said, “On December 12, Rahul Gandhi entered Barpeta Xatra in the evening and there were no RSS volunteers at that time inside the xatra. The allegation he made later before media in New Delhi that he was denied entry into the xatra was a complete lie.”
Rahul Gandhi’s remarks triggered controversy across the country when he alleged that women were made to sit at the entrance of the xatra to bar his entry.
The CJM Court on Saturday issued summons to the Congress vice-president in the defamation case (No. 559/16) filed against him by Anjan Kr Bora, Bibhag Sangha Chalak, Guwahati Bibhag, RSS on February 26, 2016, claiming he had tarnished the organisation’s image by saying he was not allowed by its members to enter Barpeta Xatra.
Dubbing the Congress leader’s assertion a “blatant lie”, Bora said in his petition that a lot of people including women and leaders of the xatra kept waiting for Gandhi on December 12, but he did not turn up. Gandhi’s claim in Delhi had brought down the image of the RSS, said Bora, adding that the Congress vice president was supposed to go to the xatra, but he did not do so and instead took part in a padayatra.
In the Congress vice president’s defence, the then State minister Chandan Sarkar had said Rahul Gandhi didn’t go to the xatra because he didn’t want to violate the custom of taking a bath before entering it.
The head of Barpeta Xatra also dismissed Gandhi’s claim that he was prevented from entering the mostery and asserted there was no RSS agent in that place.