Chennai, Sept. 16: The RSS here slapped a defamation case on human resources development minister Arjun Singh for his recent remarks accusing the organisation of killing Mahatma Gandhi. The RSS' Chennai district president Durai Shankar, in a criminal complaint before the chief metropolitan magistrate, sought "appropriate action" under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code against Mr Arjun Singh for telling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to cleanse the administration of people owing allegiance to the RSS, an organisation he accused of being responsible for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.
"If an institution's biggest achievement was the killing of Gandhi, then you can expect what national purpose it can serve," the HRD minister had told the National Convention on Secularism at New Delhi on August 8.
Responding to Mr Singh's slander, the RSS leader in his petition to the court recalled that then deputy prime minister Sardar Patel, holding the home portfolio, had written to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru stating that the RSS was not involved in Gandhiji's assassination.
"I have kept myself almost in daily touch with the progress of the investigation regarding Bapu's assassination case. All the main accused have given long and detailed statements of their activities. It also clearly emerges from these statements that the RSS was not involved in it at all," the petition quoted Patel telling Nehru in a letter dated February 27, 1948.
Further, the T.L. Kapur Commission report on the assassination had said: "In Delhi also, there is no evidence that the RSS as such was indulging in violent activities as against Mahatma Gandhi or the top Congress leaders."
Petitioner Durai Shankar said Mr Singh's remarks were "per se defamatory" and caused injury to his reputation as also that of his organisation, which he insisted was "committed to patriotism, revitalisation of the Hindu society and national integration."