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Singhal snubs saint for praising Staines' killers

Source: PTI
February 24, 2003 19:03 IST
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Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief Ashok Singhal on Monday rebuffed an attempt by a sadhu to eulogise the killers of Australian missionary Graham Staines at a protest rally of the outfit near Parliament.

"We don't agree with whatever you are saying," an apparently furious VHP chief Ashok Singhal said as Swami Khandeshwaranand not only justified the brutal killings but also advocated that Christian priests should be "beaten up". The religious leader immediately wrapped up the speech and left the podium.

Interestingly, VHP leaders, including its president Vishnu Hari Dalmia had honoured the mother and brother of Dara Singh, the prime accused in the Staines' murder case, at a private function in Delhi a few months back.

The VHP has been consistently denying any involvement in attacks on churches or the clergy.

Singhal, however, complimented Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha for bringing about the
anti-conversion law.

Senior VHP leader Acharya Dharmendra, who had ridiculed Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's food habits on Sunday, targeted India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's personal life.

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