New Delhi: BJP today rejected the demand for a judicial probe into the killings of eight SIMI operatives in a police encounter and said the practice of seeking inquiries into deaths of terrorists for vote bank politics should end.
It also targeted Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for "denting the morale" of uniformed forces alleging it was at his behest that senior party leaders were questioning the SIMI encounter.
At a press conference, BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma repeatedly referred to Congress as "Italy Congress", an apparent reference to its president Sonia Gandhi's Italian origin, and claimed there was mourning in the Opposition party over the deaths of SIMI "terrorists" while the BJP congratulates brave policemen who gunned them down.
"The Italy Congress leaders are mourning. Why does the Congress have so much sympathy for terrorists whether they belong to SIMI or LeT. This is not the first time they are doing it. They had questioned the Batla House encounter too," he said.
Suggesting that the Opposition party was doing so with an eye on Muslim votes, he said it considered the community as a "vote bank factory" and was insulting them with its stand on these alleged terrorists.
Sharma noted that senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh had hinted at the RSS involvement in the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 as he accused the party of repeatedly defending terrorists.
"Rahul Gandhi, why are you practising politics of hate and vote bank? What is your enmity with sepoys? We challenge you to rival us in developmental politics," he said.
He also said Congress is questioning the encounter has no word for head constable Ramashankar Yadav, who was killed by SIMI operatives as they fled jail in the wee hours of Monday before being gunned down by Madhya Pradesh Police.
He wondered if police needed permission from Sonia Gandhi or Digvijay Singh to act if they find terrorists.