AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday asked the central government to order a judicial probe into the “fake” 2008 encounter at Batla House in Delhi in which two suspected terrorists and a police officer were killed.
“Batla House encounter was fake. I dare the BJP to go for a judicial probe. I still stand by my remarks on the encounter. I don’t know who is Bada Sajid or Chhota Sajid,” Singh told reporters.
According to the reports, Mohammed Sajid alias Bada Sajid is one of the six persons who feature in the 22-minute video allegedly posted by the Islamic State recently, though NIA is still identifying them.
The issue of the encounter, which had taken place when the Congress-led UPA government was in power, cropped up again recently amid a claim by an alleged ISIS operative that he had fled Batla House right before the police raided it.
When asked if he should apologise as the claim of the ISIS operative insinuates that the shootout was genuine, Singh shot back saying, “Why should I apologise?”.
When Singh had claimed first time that the encounter was fake it caused a sharp political divide with BJP, which was then in opposition, accused the Congress of playing vote bank politics.
Interestingly, then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had insisted that the gunfight between security forces and terrorists was “genuine”.
Latching on the ISIS video, BJP had yesterday alluded to Singh as a “pseudo secularist” and stated the saffron party’s stand that the gunbattle was “genuine” has been vindicated.
When asked about the ISIS video, Singh said he would not like to say anything, “but I stick to my stand (that the encounter was fake)”.
On mega star Amitabh Bachchan hosting the second anniversary event of the Modi government at India Gate on May 28, Singh said, “BJP is known for displaying such pomp and show-off (sic)”.
Singh said he would visit the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi on May 26 and “expose” Modi’s development claims of last two years.
On reports that Sharad Pawar-led NCP is in favour of continuation of Sonia Gandhi as the president of Congress, Singh said, “If they (NCP) are so worried about Congress, then they should better merge their party with us”.
In 2009, the Delhi High Court had declined to institute a judicial probe into the gunbattle.
A Delhi court in 2013 had sentenced to life the lone convict and suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Shahzad Ahmad in the case for killing decorated police officer M C Sharma and injuring two other policemen.