War of words between Cong and BJP over Batla House encounter

War of words between Cong and BJP over Batla House encounter

 The Delhi court verdict in the Batla House case today led to a political war of words, with BJP slamming Congress leaders who had questioned the genuiness of the encounter while the ruling party hit back.

Contending that the BJP has the habit of criticising it, Congress said all sections should accept the verdict and guard against speaking "irresponsibly" or politicising the issue so that the morale of police forces is not undermined.

Digvijay Singh, who had raised questions over the genuineness of the September 2008 encounter in South Delhi, said he "respects the judgement" but stuck to his demand for a judicial inquiry, saying it was "fully justified" stand.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, while apparently referring to Digvijay's stand, said, "It was a bizarre situation. While the government honoured late inspector M C Sharma for bravery, senior Congress leaders and functionaries of the ruling dispensation had raised questions on the veracity of the encounter."

Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who was the Home Minister at the time of the encounter, dismissed the BJP attack, saying it was the habit of the main opposition party to criticise the Congress party.

"If we say white, the BJP will say black. If the Congress will give some other colour, the BJP will give another colour. I don't think that is relevant. What is relevant is that the police has been able to prove their case against one accused they were able to apprehend," he said.

When referred to the doubts expressed by some leaders like Digvijay Singh over the encounter, Chidambaram said they were reflecting the views of families who were affected or the people of that area.

"I know that emotion was quite high. The families and residents of the area felt very strongly. I think my colleagues were simply reflecting the views they had heard. I don not think they had access to any independent material, independent access to materials," he said, seeking to downplay the controversy.

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