Avoid politicization of Batla House verdict, says Abhishek Singhvi

New Delhi, July 25 (ANI): Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi today welcomed the Delhi Court's decision to convict the lone suspect in custody, Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Shahzad Ahmed for murder and other offences in the 2008 Batla House encounter case.

The authenticity of the Batla House encounter case has been debated by several enquiry committees and Singhvi said here today that the verdict should put the suspicion amongst people to rest, admitting to the fact that the convicted has the right to appeal in a higher court of law.

"This judgment, subject to whoever has right of appeal should put an end to controversy and doubt. While nobody has been stronger and more strident and clear than the Congress in condemning fake encounters, it is equally important that after a judicial verdict, after a trial and with reasons when a judgment has come, all parts of society should try and avoid politicization of the issue" Singhvi said here.

Singhvi added that until an appeal is made to a higher court, everyone should respect the verdict given.

"Otherwise, we would be undermining the fabric of our democracy including the judicial system and would be acting irresponsibly", Singhvi said. He asked Congress party workers to resist from taking an individual stand and instead take the stand of the party.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who was then the country's Home Minister, asserted that the encounter was genuine. Commenting on the verdict today, Chidambaram said "I am happy that the Delhi police has been able to prove its case."

The shootout between the special cell team and the alleged IM terrorists in Batla House locality in Jamia Nagar, Delhi, took place six days after serial blasts hit the national capital on September 13, 2008, leaving 30 dead and over 100 injured.

Acting on a tip-off regarding some terrorists involved in the blasts, the police team led by Inspector Sharma went to Batla House on September 19. Sharma was killed during the incident.

Earlier Bharatiya Janata Party leader Meenakshi Lekhi had also reacted, saying that it is a time the country should stand united in sharing the pain of the family of Mohan Chand Sharma. She also added that she welcomed the court's verdict and that "Politics over terrorism must end." (ANI)

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