Unchecked nuisance of Hindu Sena over beef controversy

In terms of the damage caused to computers and other office equipment, or physical discomfort generated, the "raid" on the Pakistan International Airlines office in the Capital may appear trivial.

Yet the embarrassment that the "Hindu Sena" has generated for the Government of India is considerable. And the fact that the Delhi Police functions under the Union home ministry leaves the Modi government no escape route.

For what stands re-confirmed is the inability, or disinclination, of the government to curb the activities of what can no longer be written-off as "fringe elements".

After baring its teeth on the "beef" controversy at Kerala House and attacking a dissenting Kashmiri leader at the Press Club of India, the outfit has enough "dare" to strike at a prominent office complex in the heart of the business district.

A likely conclusion would be that the cops are going soft on the Sena which has obvious "saffron" linkages.

The number of the rowdies may have been small enough to get past "security", that is no excuse for the police not having monitored the outfit's activities, particularly in the wake of heightened tensions after the attack on the Pathankot air base.

That there has been no immediate or forceful condemnation from even the local leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party of the damage at the PIA office fuels speculation that the Sena has tacit support of Jhandewalan/Nagpur: hence the police opting to look the other way. Without overdoing the personal angle, people in the city are anxiously awaiting a more professional and less politically-subservient Commissioner to assume charge at Delhi Police HQ.

It should cause the prime minister distinct discomfort that his attempt to build bridges with Pakistan should be so blatantly ridiculed by what is widely perceived as a distant cousin of the parivaar.

To the world at large he would look weak, his secular credentials disputed, and incapable of projecting India as a "big" country. That his "own" police cannot crack down on a "pinprick" dilutes the quality of his demand that Pakistan de-fang the anti-India terror groups operating in that country.\

No comfort is to be drawn from a mere handful of protesters turning rowdy at a small office turning violent - in contrast with the contrived uproar at the Pakistan High Commission decades ago after an Indian Airlines plane had been hijacked to Lahore.

The "essence" is similar, the anti-Pak lobby in India is allowed to run riot, as happens the other way around across the border. The recent incident must not be overlooked, the government is duty-bound to protect the commercial offices of all foreign entities and failure might even impact the "make in India" appeal. Worst of all, the fledgling Hindu Sena could get "ambitious".

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