Hours after he tweeted that intelligence agencies should keep a tab on people who assembled for 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon’s last rites as many of them could be “potential terrorists”, Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy told The Indian Express that such people are “definitely prima facie suspects”.
“I stand by what I have said on Twitter. All those who went to attend Yakub Memon’s funeral, other than his family members, close relatives and friends, are definitely prima facie suspects. There must be some potential threat element in these people. They ought to be kept under surveillance,” Roy said.
Earlier in the day, Roy, a former BJP state president for West Bengal, had tweeted, “Intelligence shd keep a tab on all (expt relatives & close friends) who assembled bfr Yakub Memon’s corpse. Many are potential terrorists.”
He followed that up with another tweet: “Governors ought to be concerned abt security of state. Intelligence keeping tab on Yakub’s mourners is preventing terror. Better than cure.”
When contacted, he said, “This has nothing to do with my BJP background. At the moment, I am a governor and have no party affiliation. But even as a governor I am definitely concerned about security.”
“Why should so many people who are not his close relatives assemble at his funeral? Intelligence agencies have to find out about these people,” he said.
Roy dismissed allegations that he was referring to a particular community.
“I did not specify any particular community or group. Some people are unnecessarily trying to put words in my mouth. Some are reacting even without reading exactly what I had said,” he said. “We live in a democracy where everybody has a right to air their views. I stand by my views.”
Slamming Roy for his remarks, Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said, “This shows the quality of people they (the BJP government) have chosen to occupy constitutional offices. It is unfortunate. You do not expect these people who are given parking place for political retirement to be prescriptive on governance, on administration and on functioning of India’s agencies.”
Congress MLA and TPCC spokesman in Agartala Tapas De said, “His comment are unbecoming of a governor… this is RSS legacy which he is still bearing.”
Tripura CPI(M) spokesperson Gautam Das said, “The government of India and the government of Maharashtra must have ensured the best of security arrangements. How come our governor, sitting in Agartala, came to know about a security lapse and… pointed a finger of suspicion at those who gathered at someone’s funeral?”
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