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Updated: January 13, 2012 03:07 IST

Friendly jousting over the encounter

Special Correspondent
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Union Home Minister arrives to address the press conference of GoM, in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo; V.V. Krishnan
The Hindu
Union Home Minister arrives to address the press conference of GoM, in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo; V.V. Krishnan

On Thursday, the Congress' favourite jousting partners engaged in civilised airing of a difference of opinion on the Batla House encounter. Rejecting general secretary Digvijay Singh's claim that the encounter in Delhi was “fake,” Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the gun battle between security forces and terrorists in 2008 was genuine and there was no scope for reopening the case.

“After looking into the matter, after I took over as Home Minister, we came to the conclusion that the encounter was a genuine encounter,” he said at a press conference here. Mr. Chidambaram was responding to Mr. Singh's remarks in Azamgarh on Wednesday: after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was heckled by local Muslim youth on the Batla House encounter, Mr. Singh came to his rescue, stressing that he had tried to get the Home Ministry to investigate the matter but failed.

On Thursday, following Mr. Chidambaram's statement, Mr. Singh, questioned about it, said, “I stand by what I had said on the Batla House encounter, but too much time has passed for a judicial inquiry now.”

The Minister also said Mr. Singh's views had been consistent from the very beginning and he (Mr. Chidambaram) respected his (Mr. Singh's) view. “But every authority who looked into the case has agreed that it was a genuine encounter. So, while there is a difference of opinion, I think the matter rests where it stands today. I don't think there is any scope for reopening that matter.”

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