CBI a tool of Centre: Amit Shah

Former Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah leaves the Bharatiya Janata party office to appear before CBI in Ahmedabad on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Ajit Solanki

Four days after he was first issued summons by the CBI on Thursday for questioning, the former Gujarat minister of State for Home, Amit Shah, made a dramatic appearance before the media on Sunday to present “his side” on the Sohrabuddin-Kausarbi episode. He expressed the apprehension that the CBI was acting as a “tool” in the hands of the UPA government to “fabricate” charges against him.

“I am totally innocent and all the charges against me are false, fabricated formulated from a fit of imagination and are politically-motivated. The charge sheet against me is nothing but a Congress-inspired bundle of lies,” he said.

Stating that he had full confidence in and respect for the judiciary, he said the charge sheet would not stand “even for a minute” in legal scrutiny and that he was confident of getting justice from the judiciary and in the process “expose” the “pressure groups” behind the CBI.

The press conference was hurriedly convened by the BJP to be addressed by its State unit president R. C. Faldu, where Mr. Shah made the sudden appearance. He refused to say where he was in the last four days since the first summons was issued when he remained untraceable. “I was with some friends and seeking legal advice.” He also denied that he was on the run or trying to evade the CBI.

Mr. Shah said the actions of the CBI in filing the charge sheet even before questioning him gave credence to the apprehension that summoning him was only a “big drama” and unrelated to “fabricating charges” against him “apparently at the behest of some quarters” as a part of “conspiracy” to defame and destabilise the Narendra Modi-led government.

It was humanly impossible to prepare a 30,000 page charge sheet in just three hours from 1 p.m., the deadline he was given to appear before the CBI on Friday to 4 p.m. when the charge sheet was filed in the court the same day, he said.

“It is clear that everything was ready in advance and the CBI was only playing a big drama to summon me to question.” He said he avoided appearing on Friday because he had come to know the previous night that the CBI was already taking photo copies of the charge sheet.

He said he and all other accused were yet to receive a copy of the charge sheet. What he learnt from the media reports about its contents was clear that all the charges were false and fabricated. He claimed that he was summoned for questioning under chapter 14 of the Cr. P.C., which was used against a person charged with pressuring and threatening witnesses, but in the charge sheet he was shown as “murderer, conspirator, kidnapper, extortionists and what not.” He said he was shocked that the CBI could do such wrongs.

Attacking the Congress, Mr. Shah regretted that some of its leaders had described Sohrabuddin Sheikh as a “small time criminal.” He said a person from whose residence in Madhya Pradesh the Gujarat police had recovered more than 40 AK 47 rifles, hundreds of hand-grenades and over a lakh live cartridges, who was “wanted” in five States and more than 40 criminal cases pending against him could be called a “small criminal.”

He also wondered why everyone was ignoring the “fact” that the same police officers implicated in the Sohrabuddin encounter had actually arrested and produced in the court some 400 terrorists who were still in jails and alive.

“There were six encounters in Gujarat, but over 1,700 encounters all over the country. But the UPA government has only singled out Gujarat and one such encounter to defame the BJP government in the State.”

Mr. Shah demanded that his appearance before the CBI be “fully video-recorded.” He said he had apprehensions that his replies could be “distorted” by the CBI to “its own advantage” as it did in case of several others who appeared before the investigating agency and whose “statements” were used to frame charges against him. The CBI, however, later did not give any such opportunity and took him to the court without any questioning.

When pointed out that some of the police officers arrested earlier in this connection had, during some conversations, named him as the brain behind the entire episode, which were recorded secretly by one of the police officers, Mr Shah said recording any conversation in the jail was itself an illegal act and could not form the basis of any trial. “The person who recorded the conversation should be punished.”

Both Mr. Shah and earlier Mr. Faldu said the BJP would take the “political fight” to the streets while fighting the legal battle in courts.

The party would expose before the people the “misdeeds” of the Congress, which after losing elections at all levels from panchayat to the Assembly in the last 20 years in the State had found “political encounter” of the Modi administration as the only way out to destabilise the BJP, Mr. Faldu said.

The Congress was apparently “scared and worried” over Mr. Modi's “increasing popularity” all over the country, he said.

“Silent rally”

Soon after Mr. Shah was lodged in jail, BJP workers took out a “silent rally” in Ahmedabad in protest.

State party general secretary and spokesman Vijay Rupani said similar rallies would be taken out at all the six major urban centres in the State on Monday and later at the district and taluka levels to protest against the CBI action against Mr Shah.

Mr. Shah also issued an “open letter” to the State people to explain how he was being “implicated” in “false” cases by the Congress.

“The Congress cannot tolerate that Gujarat, under Mr. Modi, is free from terror attacks and bomb blasts and curfew has become a thing of the past,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 7:34:47 PM |

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