New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sunday said that the human rights of a “terrorist” were more important for the Congress than the issue of terrorism, alleging that its “witch hunting” on the 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh will “boomerang” on it.
“For the Congress, the human rights of one terrorist is an important issue but not the terrorism itself. The Congress practically made a hero out of Sohrabbuddin during the assembly election campaign and went ahead to describe the (Gujarat) chief minister as a ‘Maut ka Saudagar’ (Merchant of Death). The BJP condemns this policy of witch hunting,” party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said.
“The Congress strategy on Sohrabuddin will surely boomerang and backfire,” he said.
He claimed that people have perceived the Congress stance on the Sohrabuddin staged shootout killing as a case of persecution.
“People in India have never approved policy of persecution with the political intent… the reference to the CBI, the conduct of the CBI, the Andhra angle and many other facets of the case have already raised enough eyebrows,” Javadekar said.
Giving details of 20 cases faced by Sohrabuddin across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, Javadekar said that he was not an ordinary criminal and was working in tandem with mafia dons like Dawood Ibrahim to smuggle weapons from Pakistan.
He said in one of the cases detected by Gujarat Police, 24 AK-56 rifles, 27 grenades, 5,250 cartidges and 81 magazines were recovered from one of his family-owned properties in Madhya Pradesh.
“Sohrabbuddin and Prajapati (another victim of a suspected staged shootout) were hardcore criminals and terrorists. The large cache of arms was recovered in a raid on his house when Digvijay Singh was the chief minister of MP (Madhya Pradesh). But, today, the Congress seems to be adopting soft line on both Afzal Guru and Sohrabbuddin,” Javadekar said.
He said that Congress defence that the case was referred to the CBI by the courts and the party has nothing to do with this investigation was not correct.
“People find it ironical that the man responsible for 30,000 innocent deaths in Bhopal Gas tragedy has been let off in an official aircraft and a (former) minister and police officials are put behind bars in a case of an encounter (stage shootout) of one diehard criminal,” he said.
The BJP leader said that more than 170 complaints of staged shootouts by the relatives of those killed were pending with the National Human Rights Commission. “But no other case is receiving the attention the Sohrabuddin case is receiving,” he said.
The CBI is probing the 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin in a staged shootout.
The Gujarat anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has been accused of killing Sohrabuddin in a staged shootout Nov 26, 2005, in Ahmedabad. His wife Kauser-bi has been missing ever since.
Former Gujarat minister Amit Shah has been arrested. He has been accused of calling up policemen involved in the killing of Sohrabuddin, who police claimed was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative. There are at least 15 other accused, including top policemen, in the case.