EDITOR of Urdu daily Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara, Aziz Burney, who hit the national headlines when he got Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh to throw his weight behind his provocatively titled book, RSS ka Shadyantra, 26/11 (RSS conspiracy, 26/11), has now tendered unconditional apology.
In a front-page apology appeared in Hindi edition of Rashtriya Sahara on January 28 and also carried in Urdu edition, Aziz Burney said, “He apologises if he has hurt anyone or any group while discussing events around 26/11.” He also said that he would like to clarify and apologise if he has hurt anyone by the title of his book and is happy to change the title if that would assuage feelings.
The apology, titled Aziz Burney ki taraf se safaai aur maafi (A clarification and apology from Burney) further said, “I am an Indian and stand by my government on all international matters. I will never do anything to compromise its position in the rest of the world.” Citing an article he wrote on December 17 last year entitled, Hafiz Sayed hamara apraadhi hai, ise hamein saunpo, (Hafiz Sayed is our enemy, hand him over to us), he said the piece does not talk about 26/11 nor links the incident with the RSS.
However, Burney did not mention what made him to tender this apology. This is a fact that the lies repeatedly mentioned by him in his articles, which later culminated in a book titled RSS ka Shadyantra, 26/11, stand fully exposed. Burney is also facing a lawsuit filed at Navi Mumbai Session Court for publishing unsubstantiated, false, derogatory and malicious reports in Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara about 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Advocate Prashant Maggu filed the case on August 7, 2009 for his client Shri Vinay Joshi of Mumbai under IPC Sections of 121, 108, 107, 117, 124(A), 153(A), 153(B), 505(2) and 506.
It is believed that a contempt of court proceeding is to begin against Burney in the Mumbai court as he, despite being the matter subjudice, continued to use his paper to pressurise the judiciary and to reproduce pro-Pakistani claims in more objectionable manner. There is possibility that non-bailable warrant may be issued against him by the court. Secondly, the police, which investigated the case, may also file its report in the Court shortly.
Even after this apology Shri Vinay Joshi made it clear that he will not withdraw his case and will continue to fight till Burney is punished for his misdeeds. Shri Joshi is also planning to make Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh a co-accused in this case.
For more than two years since the Mumbai attacks, Aziz Burney was presenting what he called an “alternative” picture through a series of more than 100 articles in Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara alleging the involvement of RSS in the attack. These articles basically contradicted the claims made by the External Affairs Ministry and Union Home Ministry as well as Mumbai Police regarding the Pakistan involvement in the attack.
Apart from filing a lawsuit in the court, Shri Vinay Joshi also appealed to the Press Council of India to investigate the anti-India and pro-Pakistanti articles of Rojanama Rashtriya Sahara and demanded exemplary action against Sahara Publication. “Indian leaders including Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Home Minister and Mumbai Police officers are repeatedly stressing about Pakistani Militant outfit’s involvement in Mumbai attack but the Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara has continuously been publishing reports of involvement of Mumbai police officials, military intelligence, Intelligence Bureau and RAW’s hand in training Pakistani militants for Mumbai attack so as to defame Indian Muslims. For couple of times, Pakistani diplomats and leaders have referred the Sahara reports on international platforms for their benefits saying that even Indian newspapers are saying that not Pakistani outfits but Indian agencies are behind the Mumbai attack. These claims are highly anti-national and hampering the reputation of India on international level. For Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara what Pakistani media and diplomats said has been highly reliable but what Indian diplomats and leaders said has been false, concoctions and not trustworthy. For scores of times I wrote to the editor of the paper to seek clarification in this matter but for no reply from editor’s side,” Shri Joshi said in his complaint to Press Council of India.
Shri Joshi also sought information under RTI from Prime Minister’s Office on August 31, 2009 seeking the names of the countries to which Burney accompanied Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in 2009. He also sought the names of the PMO Officials who shortlisted the name of Burney to accompany the PM on foreign trips. Shri Joshi sought this information for the reason that Burney published an article in the issue dated January 5, 2009 in which he wrote that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might be involved in the Mumbai terror attack directly or indirectly, or he was aware of the conspiracy of Mumbai terror attack. As the allegation which Burney levelled against Intelligence Bureau (IB) for Mumbai terror attack directly comes under PMO and also PMO is responsible for the control of acts committed by IB, Burney has blatantly commented that IB was involved in Mumbai attack.
Shri Joshi then requested the Union Home Ministry and sought the removal of CISF security provided to Burney. Though Burney has no faith in Indian security forces CISF’s armed soldiers have been deployed in his personal security. Shri Joshi pleaded to the Union Home Minister that there is no point in providing security to the person who is openly taking pro-Pakistani stand in Mumbai attack case and linking Indian security forces for their so-called invisible hand in terror attack.
When the misdeeds of Burney surfaced he received strong opposition from different sections of the society. New Delhi-based India Policy Foundation (IPF) published a detailed report in December 2010 exposing the lies of Burney mentioned in his controversial book RSS ka Shadyantra-26/11. Burney’s book made repeated attempts to give a clean chit to Pakistan and its jehadi associates for Mumbai terrorist attack. The IPF also exposed the real intentions of Burney and proved that it is part of a larger conspiracy to weaken the internal security of India and also to defame the nationalist forces, Indian intelligence and investigative agencies.