New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday expressed joy that police were "able to prove their case" in the 2008 Batla House shootout in Delhi, but also defended Congress leaders who questioned the incident's veracity, saying "they meant well".
"I am glad that the police have been able to prove their case. Earlier, the NHRC (National Human rights Commission) and the high court also held that there was no reason to doubt the genuineness of the encounter," Chidambaram, a former home minister, told Times Now.
When asked about comments made by his party colleagues and Congress leaders like Digvijaya Singh, who claimed the shootout was fake, Chidambaram said: "They (leaders) meant well. They were reflecting the views of the affected families or the people who lived in the area."
"I was asked to review the matter by some of my colleagues who said that it may have been a fake encounter. I spent a lot of time poring over the papers and talking to officers involved and I was satisfied that it was a genuine encounter," he added.
"It is unfortunate that we lost a brave police officer," the former home minister said, referring to Delhi Police Special Cell Inspector M.C. Sharma who was killed in the shootout.
A Delhi court Thursday convicted the lone accused and Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Shahzad Ahmad for the shootout Sep 19, 2008, in Batla House area in south Delhi in which Inspector Sharma was killed.
On the day of the incident, exchange of fire took place between a seven-member Delhi Police Special Cell team, led by Sharma, and suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists, allegedly involved in the Sep 13, 2008, serial blasts in Delhi.