Shivraj Singh Chouhan is possibly facing an “assassination” plot after the state police’s Monday encounter with SIMI operatives on the outskirts of Bhopal, All-India Anti-Terrorist Front chairman Maninderjit Singh Bitta claimed on Thursday.
Bitta, a former chief of the Indian Youth Congress, met Chouhan earlier in the day in connection with the Malikheda incident where police killed eight activists of the banned Islamic students’ organisation hours after they allegedly jumped the Bhopal Central Jail.
“I warned him of a possibility of his assassination after the alleged encounter of eight SIMI operatives,” he told a press conference here.
Bitta, who lost his leg in a 1992 Amritsar bombing and narrowly escaped a Delhi terror blast 14 months later, came down heavily on senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram and Digvijaya Singh, alleging they were “political terrorists”. He appreciated and congratulated the Chouhan government for the “SIMI encounter”.
Bitta reiterated his demand for an anti-terrorist military court to deal with terrorists in the country. It would reduce the threat of terror and prevent “political interference” in the execution of death sentence to terrorists, he added. A separate court will “also reduce the number of such important pending cases”.
Such measures will spare the government from spending Rs 500 to 1,000 crore annually in the security and detention of terrorists, he said.
In an interview later to HT, Bitta was non-committal about his rumoured entry into the Bharatiya Janata Party. “See, the Congress in my mother, but I will stand for justice. I support the martyrs and their family. The BJP government has done a great job,” was all he would say.
Bitta openly claimed that Digvijaya Singh “supports terrorists”, adding that his party’s senior leaders Indira Gandhi, Beant Singh and Rajiv Gandhi were “martyrs who devoted their life for the nation”.
“I can only tell you of what I have faced. I have been a victim of two major blasts, and Digvijaya Singh was behind my life,” Bitta said. “I can also tell you that Sibal is trying to collect evidences to prove the SIMI encounter was fake.”
Bitta said he has shot a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, requesting her to “observe Digvijaya’s attitude” and, if needed, expel him from the Congress.