A day after senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh termed the 2008 Batla House encounter in the capital as fake, home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday rejected his claim saying there was no scope for reopening the matter.
"That was Digvijaya's view from the very beginning. I respect his views. But after looking into the matter, after taking over as home minister, we came to the conlusion that the encounter was genuine," Chidambaram told reporters.
The home minister said every authority who has looked into it has agreed that it was a genuine encounter. "So while there was a difference of opinion, the matter rests where it stands today. I don't think there is any scope for reopening the matter," Chidambaram said.
He was responding to a question on Singh's remarks at Azamgarh in UP on Wednesday, where the Congress leader had stated that he always believed the Batla House encounter was "fake", and he had tried to get government and the home ministry to investigate the matter but could not succeed.
The BJP also fished in the troubled waters. Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded a clarification from the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
"Will Sonia Gandhi and Rahul open their mouths and clarify the issue or will they continue to play votebank politics over it. If Digvijaya Singh has sought to play with national security, then Sonia should ask him to resign from the party post or else he should be sacked," Prasad said.
The encounter on September 19, 2008, at Batla House in the Jamia Nagar area led to the killing of Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chandra Sharma and two alleged terrorists belonging to the Indian Mujahideen.
Chidambaram also rejected the argument that the Election Commission's directive to the government asking it to put on hold the decision to provide 4.5% minority quota was a setback.