//Katiyar backtracks after being booked for bounty offer

Katiyar backtracks after being booked for bounty offer

New Delhi/Jammu, June 11: Booked on the charge of inciting communal passions in Jammu and Kashmir by offering rewards of Rs one lakh each for any civilian killing a militant, BJP leader Vinay Katiyar today virtually backtracked and offered to apologise if he was "misunderstood".

With the state police registering an FIR charging him with making "provocative statements" and "inciting communal passions" and the BJP leadership asking him to "clarify" his remarks, Katiyar denied making the monetary offer and said he only talked about supporting Village Defence Committees (VDCs), set up by the state Government.

Hours after the registration of FIR against him and party Vice-President Sahib Singh Verma, Katiyar, BJP General Secretary, said in New Delhi he was ready to apologise in case his remarks have created misunderstandings.

"My comments have been misunderstood which I regret. I only offered party support to village defence committees in the event of police, army or the state government identifying people killed by them as terrorists. There was no money fixed for such support," Katiyar said.

Also, he insisted, he had no intention to incite religious hatred during a party event in Jammu on Thursday to protest last month`s Hindu killings in Doda and Udhampur.

"Whatever we said was not aimed at violating law and constitutional propriety. What we believe is that all communities should fight terrorism together," he said.

The BJP leader, who was accompanied by Verma, accused Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad of overlooking requests to set up more anti-terror VDCs and arm the villagers.

Verma, however, did not apologise and accused Azad of provoking militants against the BJP leaders.