Days after he termed the Batla House encounter “fake”, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday rejected the allegation of “appeasing Muslims” and has justified demands for an impartial inquiry into the shootout between Special Cell personnel and alleged terrorists.

Mr. Kejriwal’s demand has come on the eve of verdict in a case pertaining to the alleged encounter. While similar demands for a probe in the matter had been raised in the past, no inquiry was conducted as the Government felt that it would demoralise the police force.

In an open letter addressed to the nation, titled ‘Politics of Brotherhood’, Mr. Kejriwal has raised several questions. “(Also) in case of Batla House, several people raised a doubt if those youths needed to be killed or could they have been arrested alive? If they were terrorists, it was very important to arrest them and reach their handlers. But if they were innocent, shouldn’t the police personnel present be punished,” he asked.

“A brave police officer Mohan Chand Sharma lost his life in the call of duty. How did he die and under what circumstances? Does demanding impartial investigation into this matter tantamount to Muslim appeasement,” he further asked.

The AAP leader was responding to criticism of another open letter he wrote on July 12 in which he had raised issues of Muslim youths being implicated in false terror cases. Specifically, he questioned those who accused him of “appeasing Muslims” on the issue of Batla House and Ishrat Jahan encounters.

“How does demanding an impartial investigation into the Ishrat Jahan issue become Muslim appeasement? All that we are demanding is an impartial investigation? Isn’t it needed?” he asked.

In his earlier letter to Muslims he had promised that AAP will raise the issue of communal witch-hunt by the police. “Today’s Muslims live in terror. Why Muslims are treated like tenants in their own country? Several youths of the community are implicated in false cases of terror and are kept in jail for decades. But then, they are acquitted in the absence of evidence. This has happened with thousands of Muslim youth. One can imagine how this destroys their and their families’ lives,” he said.

  • “If they were terrorists, it was important to arrest them and reach their handlers”

  • “Does demanding an impartial probe into this matter tantamount to Muslim appeasement”