Web posted at: 3/25/2006 2:36:14 Source ::: AFP
NEW DELHI: The Indian government has advised Hindu nationalist leaders to use armoured vehicles during their electoral rallies next month as a precaution against terror attacks, officials said yesterday.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dresses up vehicles as chariots resembling battle carriages of Hindu gods as part of its revivalist campaign to garner Hindu votes ahead of elections.
The home ministry said the BJP must take precautions before leaving on their inter-city electoral drives on April 6, the Press Trust of India said.
“Both rallies would be attractive targets for militant and terrorist groups,” it quoted a classified advisory to the BJP as saying.
“They would be also passing through areas affected by Maoist insurgencies,” it said, adding the BJP has been asked to bullet-proof the “chariots” which will be used by party leaders.
India’s National Security Advisor M K Narayanan has warned that New Delhi had “specific intelligence about threats” to BJP supremo L K Advani during his pre-poll rally in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP and the ruling Congress party are bracing for elections next month in five states including Marxist-ruled West Bengal and insurgency-torn Assam.