BJP demands CBI probe into Azad`s encounter

BJP today used Union minister Mamata Banerjee`s statement, questioning the encounter of Maoist leader Azad, to draw parallels with the Sohrabuddin case and demanded a CBI inquiry into the Naxal`s death as well.

Updated: Aug 10, 2010, 23:21 PM IST

New Delhi: BJP today used Union minister
Mamata Banerjee`s statement, questioning the encounter of
Maoist leader Azad, to draw parallels with the Sohrabuddin
case and demanded a CBI inquiry into the Naxal`s death as
well.

"The Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter is an old case but
government has ordered a CBI inquiry. We have demanded that a
CBI inquiry should be ordered in the Azad encounter case too.
A minister is saying that it is a case of murder," Deputy
Leader of BJP in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde said.

Azad was killed in an encounter in Adilabad in Andhra
Pradesh. By questioning this encounter, albeit by using
Banerjee`s statement, BJP intends to corner the Congress
government in Andhra Pradesh.

BJP senses in this an opportunity to create parallels
between Azad`s case and the Sohrabuddin encounter in Gujarat,
where former Home Minister Amit Shah is in jail for his
alleged role and the CBI is said to be closing in on Chief
Minister Narendra Modi.

Taking the issue of Mamata`s statement on Azad to
Parliament, the main opposition demanded suspension of
Question Hour in both Houses and said a discussion on the
matter should take place.

Looking to pull the rug from under the Congress` feet,
the BJP did not mince words regarding Banerjee and was highly
critical of the Union Minister`s alleged support to Maoists at
Trinamool Congress`s Lalgarh rally yesterday.

"The rally was supported by banned organisations and
appeals to support it were issued by Maoist leaders. And,
while the Central government has launched `Operation
Greenhunt` in Naxal-affected districts and has called for a
united action plan, a minister of this government is saying
this should be stopped," Munde said.

He also said that Banerjee was against use of guns to
fight Maoists.

"Naxalism is not just Naxalism now. It is terrorism. We
are against Naxalism. They are looting trains..." Munde said.

The senior BJP leader said his party was not against
talks with Maoists but maintained that Union ministers should
practice restraint.

-PTI