The United States’ Central Intelligence Agency has categorised the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal as “religious militant organisations” in the latest edition of its World Factbook.

Bajrang Dal’s national convener Manoj Verma told The Print that they are “consulting experts and seeking legal advice to counter this”.

An unidentified Bajrang Dal leader questioned the CIA’s rationale. “We have international branches as well but we have never troubled anyone,” the leader told The Print. “We are nationalists. We will see what can be done to get this right.”

The VHP, meanwhile, demanded an apology from the CIA and threatened global protests if the tag is not removed, IANS reported. VHP leader Surendra Jain said the classification in the factbook were “objectionable”, “disrespectful” and “non-factual”.

(Courtesy: CIA World Factbook)
(Courtesy: CIA World Factbook)

The publication also lists the All Parties Hurriyat Conference in Kashmir Valley as a “separatist group”, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as a “nationalist organisation” and the Jamiat Ulema-e Hind as a “religious organisation”.

The factbook is published annually and contains information on a country’s history, people, government, economy, energy sector, geography, communications, transportation sector, military, and the transnational problems it faces.