Manas Dasgupta

Modi government fully exposed, says Congress

GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat government has refused to consider the Supreme Court order for a CBI inquiry into the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh a setback to the State or a reflection on its investigating agencies.

Health Minister and Cabinet spokesman Jay Narayan Vyas said the order in no way cast aspersions on the impartiality of the Gujarat government or the competence of its investigating agencies.

“No State can afford to demoralise its investigating agencies. Sohrabuddin is just one case, there are many other cases where the State investigating agencies are commendably investigating the matters.”

Mr. Vyas said the government would study the order and the investigation in the case would be taken forward the way the Supreme Court wanted it. He assured all cooperation from the State in the investigation.

While State Congress chief Siddharth Patel and leader of Opposition in the Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil welcomed the court order, State Bharatiya Janata Party president Purshottam Rupala declined to make any comment on the matter which was “sub judice.” He said the order was part of the judicial process under the Constitution “in which all of us have full faith.”

Mr. Patel said the demand for a CBI inquiry into the case had been made several times and the court order would help to bring out the “real truth” behind such fake encounters.

Mr. Gohil said the Gujarat government was fully “exposed” in the apex court as it tried to project, in a vote-garnering tactic, some small-time criminals as big terrorists who, it was claimed, were trying to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The court might not have ordered a CBI probe had the government not changed investigating officers at will, he said.

Secretary of the Mumbai-based Citizens for Justice and Peace Teesta Setalvad and Jan Sangharsh Manch convener Mukul Sinha, who appeared in the Sohrabuddin case in a city sessions court and the Gujarat High Court, welcomed the Supreme Court order and hoped that it would lead to impartial and fresh investigations into a series of similar fake encounter cases reported between 2003 and 2006, including that of Ishrat Jahan and several others.