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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh/New Delhi, April 12, 2013
Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, the prime target of Khalistani terrorist Devender Pal Singh Bhullar back in 1993, has welcomed Friday’s Supreme Court order upholding his death sentence.

But the former Youth Congress president, who is no longer with the party, has accused the Congress leaders of trying to save Bhullar.

In the line of his fire was Union minister Kapil Sibal who had earlier represented Bhullar, and Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, whose government had declared Bhullar mentally ill.

Bitta was injured in the car bomb blast outside the Youth Congress office in Delhi. Nine others died in the blast.

“Bhullar’s file kept moving inside the home ministry, law ministry and the Delhi government for 15 years. I didn’t expect he would get death sentence,” he said.

Over the years, various leaders of the Congress had asked him to stop pursuing the case, Bitta said.

“Ambika Soni had called me and told me to back down. My party and my leadership got frightened and left me to fend for myself. No one was with me. The media also left me.”

Bitta also accused then Congress-led Central government of withdrawing his security cover. “I always asked why they did this. There was an attack on me in 1992,” he said.

The chief of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front intends to carry on his crusade. And his next target? “I will fight for death penalty to the convicts in the assassination case of Rajiv Gandhi,” Bitta said.

(With inputs from PTI)