BJP trying to influence investigations against Shah: Congress

July 23rd, 2010 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to influence investigations in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh murder case and shield its Gujarat minister Amit Shah, the Congress said Friday while lashing out at the BJP for cancelling a lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that it was unprecedented on the part of the BJP to hold a press conference on an ongoing investigation.

“It is a blatant and attempt to pressurise investigations. It is a crude attempt to create an arc of immunity for (Amit) Shah… It is a clear contempt of court,” Singhvi said.

The BJP Friday cancelled a lunch with the prime minister citing the “bitter atmosphere” following the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) summons to Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah in the 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a staged shootout.

Senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley addressed a press conference to say the government was misusing the CBI to harass some party leaders and that investigations concerning Shah were politically motivated.

Rejecting BJP’s charges, Singhvi said that the party’s comments on investigation were “indefensible, unheard of”.

“By this action, the BJP is going on a new line of unconstitutional, improper conduct,” he said.

In an apparent reference to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Singhvi said it was Gujarat’s junior home minister Shah who was running scared and avoiding interrogation.

“Now, perhaps, the home minister’s mentor is equally scared and appears to have pressurised senior BJP leaders to obstruct and prevent ongoing investigation.

“The BJP leadership includes senior lawyers. Have they forgotten that the Supreme Court, in a detailed judgement after months of arguments, had transferred the case to CBI from the Gujarat Police?”

Singhvi said the Gujarat government had argued for many months that they had completed the investigations in the case and had filed chargesheet.

“Despite this, the Supreme Court did something unusual. It transferred investigations to CBI and directed it to re-investigate,” he said.

The Congress leader said the investigation was nearing completion and the agency appeared to have zeroed in on Shah for his alleged complicity. “It has sent shivers down the collective spine of the BJP,” he said.

Lashing out at the BJP for linking CBI summons to Shah with invitation for lunch by the prime minister, Singhvi said the opposition party was rejecting “the spirit of cooperation and constructive collaboration”.

He said the prime minister had reached out to the main opposition party to see that parliament’s time was used to the full potential.

“It is a mischievous attempt by the BJP to link two unconnected issues,” he said.

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has been accused of killing Sohrabuddin Sheikh near Ahmedabad in a staged shootout in 2005. His wife Kauser-Bi has also been missing since then.

Police claimed the dead man was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative.

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