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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Political slugfest over Batla House verdict

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 25, 2013
First Published: 23:03 IST(25/7/2013) | Last Updated: 23:04 IST(25/7/2013)

The verdict of a Delhi court that the Batla House encounter that killed cop Mohan Chand Sharma was genuine saw the BJP launch an attack on the Congress on Thursday.

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"The Congress is in a habit of misleading people. Digvijaya Singh should now as a decent man accept that what he had said was untrue," senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said.

BJP's deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "It was a bizarre situation. While the government honoured late inspector MC Sharma for bravery, senior Congress leaders had raised questions on the veracity of the encounter."

However, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who had raised questions over the genuineness of the September 2008 encounter in South Delhi, said he "respects the judgement" but stuck to his demand for a judicial inquiry.

"I had asked for a judicial inquiry which I felt was fully justified but it was denied. I reiterate my earlier stand. I respect the judgement. It is for the aggrieved party to accept the verdict or go into appeal," he tweeted.

Finance minister P Chidambaram - who was the then home minister - dismissed the BJP attack, saying it was the habit of the main opposition party to criticise the Congress.

"If we say white, the BJP will say black. If the Congress will give some other colour, the BJP will give another colour. I don't think that is relevant. What is relevant is that the police have been able to prove their case against one accused they were able to apprehend," he said.

When referred to the doubts expressed by some leaders like Digvijaya Singh over the encounter, Chidambaram said they were reflecting the views of families who were affected or the people of that area.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi sought to downplay the statements made by Digvijaya, saying individuals could have commented in a "surcharged atmosphere" but those should not be given credence now.


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