In another round of tongue-lashing after the CBI appeal for the transfer of the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case out of Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi asked whether the state was considered a part of an "enemy" country.
In the status report submitted to the Supreme Court on Friday, the CBI sought the transfer on the ground that the accused persons were highly influential and could try to manipulate and derail the trial.
The CBI named 15 persons, including close Modi aide and former junior home minister Amit Shah and police officials, as accused in the 2005 case.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife, Kauser Bi, and a third person, Tulsi Prajapati, were picked up by a joint team of the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in Andhra Pradesh on November 23, 2005. On November 26, Sheikh was killed in an alleged staged encounter, while Kauser Bi was eliminated a few days later. Prajapati was killed in December 2006.
Addressing a public function in Ahmedabad on Saturday, Modi described the transfer move as an "insult to the judicial system of Gujarat".
He said,"This is an attempt to pollute the peaceful atmosphere in Gujarat and insult its judicial system, judges and lawyers."
"Why this insult to the judicial system of Gujarat? Or you see Gujarat as an enemy state?" asked Modi.
"Should we lock up our courts in the state?"
Meanwhile, at a press conference in Bangalore, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi dismissed Modi's diatribe as "drama".
He asked, "Did not Modi feel insulted when the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of hundreds of cases relating to the Godhra violence to Maharashtra?"
On two 2002 Gujarat riots cases – the Best Bakery case and the Bilkis Bano case – that were shifted out of Gujarat for fair trial, Modi said only the court rooms and judges were changed.
"Everything from investigation to preparing charge sheet was done by Gujarat police."
Earlier, on Thursday night, Modi, slammed the Congress and the CBI, saying the party's political existence in the state depended on the CBI and, therefore, the investigative agency's officials would be chosen to contest civic body elections in Ahmedabad.