Zee Media Bureau
Varanasi: A case has been filed against Ved Pratap Vaidik in Chief Judicial Magistrate`s court in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on sedition charges regarding his meeting with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and his comments regarding Jammu and Kashmir, as per reports on Wednesday.
The case was filed in the court of the chief judicial magistrate and has been listed for hearing July 25.
The petitioner, lawyer KC Tripathi, sought the arrest of Vaidik, who is also a journalist, for sedition, IANS reported.
Tripathi argued that the journalist had committed a crime by meeting a terrorist accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that left 166 people dead.
Journalist and Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev`s aide Vaidik`s meeting with Hafiz Saeed earlier this month has led to a huge controversy with the Opposition, mainly the Congress party, taking on the BJP-led NDA government over the matter.
The issue was raised in Parliament both on Monday and Tuesday with the Congress cornering the government. However, the BJP sought to distance itself from the meeting between Vaidik and Hafiz with Union Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley telling Rajya Sabha on Monday that the government had nothing to do with it even remotely.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too made a statement in the Lok Sabha yesterday, reiterating that her government had nothing to do with the meeting which had generated so much controversy.
Meanwhile, the Congress today accused the government of a "massive cover-up" of the whole issue.
Attacking the government, senior Congress leader Kamal Nath said, "It is very clear that the government is involved" in the meeting between Vaidik and Saeed, PTI reported.
"Indian High Commission knew about his visit. Our intelligence agencies must have been keeping track of the activities of Vaidik. It was definitely known. Now it is massive-cover up by the government since they have been caught on a wrong foot," Nath told reporters outside Parliament.
Rejecting the charge, Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said all the representatives of the government have already made it very clear that Vaidik was not a representative or messenger of the government.
Vaidik too has repeatedly denied that he might have acted as government`s envoy.
Vaidik had met the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, said to be the parent organisation of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, in Lahore on July 2 while touring Pakistan along with a group of journalists and politicians invited by a peace research institute.
With Agency inputs