BJP, Samajwadi Party lock horns over Jamia shootout


New Delhi/Panaji : Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh Tuesday called for the resignation of Home Minister Shivraj Patil and a judicial probe into the shootout in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar, prompting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to label his stance “vote bank politics”.

Support TwoCircles

“Shivraj Patil should voluntarily step down in the name of morality and in the wake of the great Congress tradition over the decades,” the Samajwadi Party general secretary told reporters in Goa.

He said a judicial probe into the Sep 19 shootout — that led to two alleged terrorists and a police officer being killed and the police saying that they had unravelled the conspiracy behind the Sep 13 serial bombings in the capital — was necessary “to end the apprehensions in the minds of the minorities”.

Amar Singh added that he would offer financial help to the accused to fight their case. “Shoot them if they are terrorists, but just do not jump to conclusions,” he cautioned.

The statements led an angry BJP to say that Amar Singh was casting aspersions on the death of Delhi Police Inspector M.C. Sharma, who died of bullet injuries.

“We strongly condemn the unfortunate comment of Amar Singh in relation to the Jamia Nagar incident and casting doubts over the sacrifice of inspector M.C Sharma,” said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi.

“This is the most cruel and ugly form of vote bank politics. Their (political parties) objective is to let terrorists go away,” he told reporters here.

The BJP spokesperson did not give a direct reply when asked about his party’s stand on a judicial probe into the shootout. “Does anyone have any evidence challenging the authenticity of the shootout,” he asked.

In Panaji, Amar Singh also said that noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani had at his behest agreed to take up the brief for students of the Jamia Milia University near Jamia Nagar who had been arrested. Jethmalani said he would have loved to defend the two students arrested on charges of instigating terror attacks but couldn’t because of his failing health.

“I would have loved to defend them and take up their cases had I the sufficient physical energy,” the former law minister said in New Delhi.