NEW DELHI // India's home minister yesterday accused Hindu nationalist groups of promoting terrorism at their training camps, a charge strongly denied by hard-line groups.
Sushilkumar Shinde said an investigation by government agencies had revealed the involvement of Hindus in the bombing of a Pakistan-bound train that killed 68 people in 2007, and an explosion in a crowded market in western India's Malegaon town that killed seven in 2008.
At a meeting of the ruling Congress party in Jaipur, Mr Shinde accused the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), of blaming minority Muslims for the bombings.
"We have this report that whether it is the BJP or the RSS, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism," said Mr Shinde. "We are keeping a strict eye on it. They are planting bombs and blaming minorities for it. We need to be careful for safety of our country."
Mukhtar Naqvi, a BJP spokesman, demanded an apology from the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, for Mr Shinde's "baseless and provocative charge".
But other Congress officials rushed to Mr Shinde's defence.
"We have long known this," said Mani Shankar Aiyar, a leading party member. "Mr Shinde had the courage to say it."
* With additional reporting by IANS