Prime minister (PM) Manmohan Singh claimed on Wednesday it was due to the arrest of a former Gujarat minister in a murder case that the opposition, particularly BJP, adopted a hostile approach in parliament last session.
“BJP has given a reason that perhaps because some strict action has been taken against someone who is a minister in Gujarat. I don’t want to talk in detail about this,” he said.
PM also indicated that BJP wanted the government to reverse its decision on the jailed minister, widely believed to be chief minister Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari laughed off the allegation.
Questioning PM’s motive behind linking the case of former Gujarat home minister Shah to his party’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign against the UPA government, he said, “It is laughable to level a charge that BJP was attacking the government to vent its anger at the action taken against the state minister.”
Shah, charged with hatching a conspiracy to kill Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter in 2005, was granted bail on the condition that he won’t enter Gujarat and is living somewhere outside the state.
If he’s caught in Gujarat, CBI can seek cancellation of his bail.
Sohrabuddin was allegedly part of a plot to kill Modi. His wife Kausar Bi and Prajapati, a witness to his state-organised murder by trigger-happy cops, were also eliminated.
The Supreme Court will hear a petition on behalf of Prajapati on Thursday and take up for hearing CBI’s appeal for quashing Shah’s bail on February 23.
According to the CBI charge sheet, “Elimination of Sohrabuddin was being used for extortion by the accused [Shah] to establish an element of fear in the minds of businessmen and others.”
There was rivalry between Sohrabuddin and Hamid Lala gangs in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand, Nathdwara and Udaipur areas, known for marble mining trade, it alleges.
Taking advantage of the same, the accused hailing from Gujarat and Rajasthan entered into a criminal conspiracy to eliminate Sohrabuddin, it says.
Shah entrusted the job to then deputy inspector general of Gujarat Police DG Vanzara, superintendents of police Rajkumar Pandian and MN Dinesh and district superintendents ML Parmar and NK Amin, among others, it claims.
While Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi were in illegal custody of Gujarat anti-terror squad, Vanzara was in constant touch over phone with Shah and was continuously seeking instructions, it says, adding that Vanzara got instructions to kill Kausar Bi from Shah.