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Batla House encounter genuine: Chidambaram

New Delhi: Dismissing Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s claim that the Batla House encounter was “fake”, Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the 2008 gun fight between security forces and terrorists in Delhi was indeed 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.

The Home Minister was responding to Singh’s remarks in Azamgarh yesterday when he had said that he always believed that the Batla House encounter was “fake” and had tried to get Government and the Home Ministry to investigate the matter but could not succeed.

Asked about Chidambaram’s remarks, Digvijay said, “I stand by what I said on Batla House encounter but too much time has passed for a judicial inquiry now”.

Sensing an opportunity to put the Government and the Congress on the backfoot, BJP immediately demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi should clarify their stand on the issue.

“If Chidambaram as Home Minister says the Batla House encounter was genuine then how did Digvijay Singh term it fake in the presence of Rahul Gandhi in Azamgarh yesterday?” BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The Home Minister said that it was the view of Digvijay Singh from the very beginning and he (Chidambaram) respected his (Singh’s) view.

“But every authority who has looked into it (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,” he said.

The encounter on September 19, 2008, at Batla House led to the killing of Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chandra Sharma and two Indian Mujahideen terrorist while two other IM terrorists were arrested and another fled from the scene.

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