BJP asks PM to break silence on Batla encounter

Speaking in Lucknow, national vice president of BJP Vinay Katiyar demanded that Khurshid be sacked and asked the Prime Minister to issue a clarification.

New Delhi: Taking exception to Law Minister Salman Khurshid raking up the Batla House encounter in UP poll campaign, BJP on Friday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "break his silence" and clear the clouds over the "sensitive"

"The Prime Minister would have to break his silence...the Prime Minister should make it clear today itself if his Home Minister is speaking the truth or his Law Minister," said BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi here today.

Speaking in Lucknow, national vice president of BJP Vinay Katiyar demanded that Khurshid be sacked and asked the Prime Minister to issue a clarification.

Addressing newspersons, Katiyar said that coming from the Law Minister of the country, the statement is "so objectionable that the government should resign on moral grounds".

Naqvi said "it was a matter of concern that there was an internal rift within the government on a matter which was so sensitive as that concerning terrorism and
national security."

He lamented, "now, terrorism is being given a communal angle and it is used by all for vote-bank politics", while charging the Congress with raking up the Batla House encounter while trying to woo voters of a particular community.

On Khurshid`s claim that the government was on the verge of finalising a judicial probe into the encounter, the BJP leader lamented that "when such sensitive talk on a sensitive matter is made into public talk, it raises questions before the public".

Naqvi also asked the Prime Minister to clarify on how the discussions held within the Union Cabinet are now being discussed publicly by ministers, besides coming out with the actual truth on what transpired at the time of the Batla encounter.

Khurshid while campaigning in Uttar Pradesh had said that pictures of the Batla House encounter case had brought tears to the eyes of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

"I was not a minister at that time but still took the issue of the Batla encounter to Sonia Gandhi and she had tears in her eyes," Khurshid said at an election meeting in Karmaini village under Sagri Vidhan Sabha area yesterday.

In the past, Congress general secretary Digvijay had questioned the authenticity of the encounter that occurred on September 19, 2008 in the capital and left Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chandra Sharma and two Indian Mujahideen terrorists dead.

Two other IM terrorists were arrested and another fled
from the scene.

Khurshid had yesterday said that Sonia Gandhi had told him to take the matter to the government and the matter reached till the stage of judicial enquiry but since it was the time of Lok Sabha elections the issue went to the court.

Attacking the Congress party and the Samajwadi Party for playing vote-bank politics, Naqvi said, "the Congress cries on death of terrorists and laughs at the killings of innocent and common people", while referring to Digvijay Singh expressing sadness at the death of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

The BJP leader also asked for carrying out a "lie-detector test on Union Ministers talking differently about the Batla encounter".

Naqvi also charged the Congress, BSP and SP, with not spelling out their stand with regard to HuJI and SIMI in their election manifestos for Uttar Pradesh, which he alleged had become a breeding ground for the outfits all these years.

"These parties have not even mentioned as to how they will deal with HUJI and SIMI if their government is formed in UP, while BJP has spelt out its policy clearly.

"...Today in Uttar Pradesh, terrorist organisations like HUJI and SIMI have made the state a safe haven for their activities. Terrorists have made UP a centre of their
activities in such circumstances," he said.

Referring to the Sohrabuddin encounter case of Gujarat, Katiyar said "Congress is crying for him but it (Congress) never sheds a tear for those who lost their lives
at Sohrabuddin`s hands."

He asked "whether Sonia Gandhi had also shed tears on the death of Delhi Police inspector in the Batla house encounter case or on the death of security personnel during terror attack on Parliament".

"Congress has never respected Constitution and court," he alleged.

He claimed that by granting reservation on the basis of religion, Congress has laid the foundation of "another partition in the country".

The BJP leader stressed that his party was not against Muslims but against quota on the basis of religion.