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BJP govt released Masood Azhar, Doval escorted him, says Rahul

BJP govt released Masood Azhar, Doval escorted him, says Rahul

New Delhi: Continuing his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Pulwama suicide bombing, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday raked up the issue of release of Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar in 1999.

Sounding the bugle for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Modi's home state, he fired a fresh salvo at the NDA regime on a slew of issues, including the Rafale deal, demonetisation and the implementation of the GST. Addressing a rally at Adalaj village of Gandhinagar district in the presence of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, his sister and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other top party leaders, he reiterated that there was massive corruption in the Rafale deal.

"He (Modi) talks about patriotism. Masood Azhar conducted bomb attack in Pulwama. I would like to ask Narendra Modiji, who released Masood Azhar and sent him to Pakistan? (It was) the BJP government, the Vajpayee government put Masood Azhar on a special plane, gave him money and sent him to Pakistan," Rahul Gandhi said.

"And Narendra Modiji, your National Security Adviser, (Ajit) Dovalji (who was then with the IB), escorted Masood Azhar to Kandahar (in Afghanistan)," he said.

Azhar and two other terrorists were set free by the Vajpayee government in exchange of hostages of the IC-814 Indian Airlines flight hijacked to Kandahar in December 1999. Azhar later went on to set up the Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terror outfit that claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama.

"Explain to the country, why did you send the person who killed those 40-45 martyrs, on a special plane? Tell the country why your government sent him to Pakistan. Who had arrested Masood Azhar? Congress party had arrested Masood Azhar, he was kept in jail," he said.

While mocking the industrialist, the Congress chief said, "Anil Ambani has never made a plane in his life. If I give him a piece of paper he would not be able to make a plane out of that also."

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