The Central Intelligence Agency, in its recent edition of the ‘World Factbook’, has named the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal as “religious militant organisations”. The agency, the intelligence wing of the US government, has categorised them under “political pressure groups”, defined as organisations that are involved in politics or that exert political pressure but whose leaders do not stand for legislative election.
The CIA also lists the RSS, Hurriyat Conference and Jamiat Ulema-e Hind among the political pressure groups in India. The RSS has been defined as a “nationalist organisation”, the Hurriyat Conference as a “separatist group” and the Jamiat Ulema-e Hind a “religious organisation”. Also Read: VHP threatens agitation against CIA for naming it as a ‘religious militant organisation’
The CIA annually publishes a World Factbook which feeds intelligence or factual reference material on a country or issue to the US government. This includes information on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues. Data is available for 267 countries. The agency has been publishing this material since 1962, but only made it public in 1975. The Factbook is produced for US policymakers and coordinated throughout the US intelligence community. It is one of the types of intelligence delivered, the other two are ‘The President’s Daily Brief’ and the ‘National Intelligence Estimates’.
Khemchand Sharma, former national convenor of the BJP’s Samvad cell, on Friday rejected the CIA’s assertions. Calling it “fake news”, he said legal action will be initiated against the agency.