Meenakshi Lekhi denies answering question on Hamas in Parliament; demands probe | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi denies answering question on Hamas in Parliament; demands probe

Dec 09, 2023 01:21 PM IST

Meenakshi Lekhi denied that she had signed any document related to the declaration of the Palestinian group Hamas as a terrorist organisation in India.

Union minister of state for external affairs Meenakshi Lekhi on Friday denied that she had signed any document related to the declaration of the Palestinian group Hamas as a terrorist organisation in India. Lekhi's response came after social media users and journalists shared a document about a reply to a Parliament question available on the Lok Sabha website.

Union minister of state for external affairs Meenakshi Lekhi.(Manish/HT)
Union minister of state for external affairs Meenakshi Lekhi.(Manish/HT)

In the document, Congress MP K Sudhakaran asked whether the Union government has any proposal to declare Hamas as a terrorist organisation in India and whether Israel has raised any such demand before New Delhi. The document is available on the website of the Lok Sabha and foreign ministry.

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“Designation of an organisation as terrorist is covered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and declaring any organisation as terrorist is considered as per the provisions of the Act by the relevant government departments,” the answer read.

As the document was shared on social media, Lekhi took to X to deny signing of any such paper.

“I have not signed any paper with this question and this answer,” Lekhi wrote on the social media website.

She also said an official inquiry will be held. “Inquiry will reveal the culprit,” the union minister added.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi sought clarification on the matter from the ministry of external affairs.

“In the tweet below Meenakshi Lekhi ji is denying and disassociating to a response attributed to her, says has no idea who drafted this as response to a PQ since she didn’t sign it. Is she then claiming it is a forged response, if yes this is a serious breach and violation of the rules that prevail. Would be grateful for a clarification from MEA,” she wrote.

Israel carried out a massive military offensive in Gaza following the unprecedented and multi-pronged attacks on Israeli cities by Hamas terrorists on October 7, killing over 1,400 people. Over 16,000 Palestinians have been killed in the retaliatory attack by Tel Aviv.

India, which has strong strategic ties with both Israel and key Arab states, has sought to fashion a nuanced approach to the conflict triggered by the October 7 terror attacks by Hamas. While condemning the terror attacks, India has asked for adherence to international humanitarian law but has stopped short of directly calling for a ceasefire.

New Delhi has called on the parties in the Israel-Hamas conflict to de-escalate, avoid violence and create conditions that facilitate an early resumption of direct peace negotiations for achieving a two-state solution.

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