At a time when Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi attempted to reach out to Muslims since the 2002 Gujarat riots, his party BJP too showed signs of a Muslim outreach in the Capital.
BJP minority morcha in-charge JK Jain gave an impassioned speech at an Ulema Council meet on the Batla House encounter on Monday, seconding Muslims' plea for "justice" and blaming Congress for all the ills.
On Tuesday, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain— back from a trip to riot-hit Bharatpur— said Rajasthan Police had killed Muslim youth in Bharatpur and converted a mosque into a garrison.
"This is a historic meeting, as for the first time you have called a BJP representative. You all know the Batla House incident. Indian Muslims are not satisfied with the inquiry. It is not an illegitimate demand that correct probe be there," Jain said. "There are police, judicial and CBI probes, but those whose children have died are not satisfied… But three years on, the present government is unwilling to agree..."
This is a departure from the BJP's long-held position that the encounter was genuine and Delhi cop Mohan Chandra Sharma had been martyred.
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad responded: "I'll check on the facts."
In his speech, Jain also blamed Muslim support for Congress and their refusal to give the BJP a chance for their pitiable condition, saying: "jo majboor qaum hoti hain, unkee koi parwaah nahin kee jaati (Those communities who are under compulsions do not get heard)."
PIL: Dignitaries, activists want funding details
Ahmedabad: Former chief minister Suresh Mehta and former home minister Gordhan Zadaphia, apart from activists, have stepped up efforts to find out with whose permission the state government released money for Modi's harmony mission. NGO Vikalp filed a PIL stating the money, said to be R60 crore, must be recovered because the function was to project Modi as the PM candidate and not to promote harmony.
"It was a function for the chief minister himself or the BJP... The money spent from the public treasury should be recovered," petitioner Himanshu Banker said.
A number of applications under the RTI have been filed seeking details of the expenditure. Former BJP leader Zadaphia also urged the governor to seek details of expenditure.