Home >News >India >Batla House encounter: RS Prasad lashes out at Mamata, demands apology

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who he said cast serious doubt over the authenticity of the 2008 Batla House encounter.

Addressing a BJP press conference, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad quoted remarks by Opposition leaders, including Congress' Salman Khurshid and Digvijay Singh and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, to attack them.

Prasad also demanded an inquiry to find out the impact the campaign against Delhi Police had on its morale.

"There was a conscious, deliberate, and consistent attempt to cast serious doubt on the authenticity of the Batla House encounter to weaken the morale of Delhi Police and give clear support to terrorist and their design. Why? For pure vote bank politics," Prasad said.

"The Samajwadi Party, BSP, Congress, Left and Mamata Banerjee made the Batla House incident a national issue. What does this mean? Will our fight against terrorism be weakened for votes?" Prasad said at the conference.

"Today, after more than 100 people testified and scientific and medical evidence led to the conviction of a big terrorist in the case, will these parties apologise?" he further questioned.

The comments came a day after Ariz Khan, an Indian Mujahideen terrorist, was convicted of killing Inspector Mahesh Chand Sharma in the gunfight in south Delhi's Batla House locality in September 2008.

2008 Batla House encounter

Inspector Sharma of the Special Cell of Delhi Police was killed during the encounter, which took place a week after five serial blasts had hit the national capital on September 13, 2008, killing at least 30 people and injuring over 100.

Two terrorists were killed while two others fled. After the encounter on September 19, 2008, protest rallies were organised against it by teachers and students of Jamia Millia Islamia University.

The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC), which had conducted an inquiry in the case on the direction of the Delhi High Court, gave Delhi Police a clean chit.

However, several leaders of the Congress, which was in power at the Centre then, had voiced doubts on Delhi Police's claims and sought an enquiry even though the party leadership later distanced itself from their campaign.

The BJP, known for its tough line on the issue of national security, has often used Khurshid's remarks that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was in tears looking at the pictures of the encounter.

Prasad also noted that Banerjee had described the encounter as "fake" and had sought a judicial probe, claiming that she will quit politics if proven wrong.

The Samajwadi Party, AAP's Arvind Kejriwal and the Left had echoed similar views, he said.

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