Karnataka CM Bommai orders probe to verify Al-Qaeda video on student Muskan

The Congress has lashed out at the BJP over the Al-Qaeda chief’s video praising Muskan, accusing the party of polarising the state ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls.
Collage of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai
Collage of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai
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After Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri released a video praising Karnataka student Muskan, who stood up to those heckling her for wearing a burqa in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has responded to the issue. Speaking to reporters after his return from Delhi on Thursday, April 7, he said that the police have been instructed to verify the authenticity of the video.

Forces from the past are at work from the past to create unrest among the people by raking up issues against the state and nation. The video clip, said to be of the Al-Qaeda chief, is part of it,” the Chief Minister said. In the Arabic video clip posted by al-Zawahiri, with English subtitles provided by the American SITE Intelligence Group that tracks online activity of white supremacist and jihadist organisations, Zawahiri is heard reading out a poem, which he says he wrote for "our Mujahid sister" and for her "brave feat". "May Allah reward her for exposing the reality of Hindu India and the deception of its pagan democracy," the Al-Qaeda chief said in the video.

Muskan’s father has condemned the video, calling it an “attempt at creating division”. "We don't know anything about it (video), we don't know who he is. I saw him today for the first time. He has said something in Arabic.....We are all living here with love and trust like brothers," Mohammad Hussain Khan told reporters. The Congress has also condemned the video, and said that the banned terrorist organisation “has no business” to comment about the the “internal affairs of the country”.

The Congress also hit out at the BJP, accusing it of polarising the state with an eye on the 2023 Assembly polls. Asking people of the state to "read behind things", Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken said, "These people (BJP) are right wingers here, Al-Qaeda are right wingers somewhere else. So one right winger is trying to help the other right winger....so both are right wingers, and they are trying to polarise."

The Congress in Karnataka also slammed the ruling BJP party in the state. Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah has alleged that the RSS is behind al-Zawahiri’s video. “Where is the terrorist, who is the terrorist? It is the RSS, which sends them (videos). It's all fake. These people (RSS functionaries) engineered it. What is there for the Chief Minister to find out when he is armed with intelligence? These intelligence officials brief everyday in the morning and evening,” Siddaramaiah said.

Reacting to this, CM Bommai said, "There is no logic and basis for his statement. Why is Siddaramaiah agitated if Al Qaeda issues a statement is the basic question that arises."

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