Congress MLA heckles Kejriwal, AAP denies promising Batla probe
Congress legislator Asif Muhammad Khan Thursday disrupted a press conference of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, demanding an SIT probe into the Batla House shooting, and vowed to vote against his government. The AAP questioned Khan's affiliation to the Congress party which had justified the shooting.
A furious Khan also asked the Congress to withdraw its critical legislative support to the month-old Aam Aadmi Party minority government for what he said was a "betrayal" of a promise made by Kejriwal to Muslims in his area.
Kejriwal said at the press conference there would be no probe into the incident as the court had given its verdict and the case was closed.
Condemning Khan for his "nefarious attempt", the AAP lambasted the legislator for his "highly objectionable behaviour, which is totally unbecoming of an elected representative".
"Asif needs to answer the question as to why he joined the Congress which had termed the shooting as genuine and opposed any attempt to get it probed. He should spell out the stand of the party to which he belongs, on this issue," the AAP said in a statement.
"He is seeking answers from a government which believes in justice for all and discrimination against none," it added.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh said there was no mention of the Batla House incident in the party's manifesto for election to the Delhi state assembly.
"A plea was filed in the case by Prashant Bhushan, but the court rejected it, stating there would be no other plea in the case," Singh said.
"We should respect the decision of the Supreme Court in the matter," he added.
The drama began when Khan, Congress legislator from Okhla, entered the first-floor room of the Delhi Secretariat where the chief minister and his cabinet colleague Manish Sisodia were briefing the media.
Khan started shouting slogans after Kejriwal denied a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the 2008 Batla House shooting.
He said Kejriwal had earlier promised an SIT probe, similar to the one the chief minister now wants into the 1984 killings of Sikhs, but was refusing to do so.
Demanding an investigation, Khan called Kejriwal the director of "Radio Jhootistaan" and thundered that he would no longer support the AAP government even if the Congress expelled him.
"I will also request the Congress to withdraw its support to the AAP," he added.
"He (Kejriwal) had promised the people of Okhla that he will probe the Batla House case, and had even distributed handbills to this effect," the Congress legislator, one of the only eight Congress candidates to win the elections in the city, said.
He said Kejriwal was now backtracking and "has betrayed the people of Okhla".
The controversial shooting between a Delhi Police team and suspected Indian Mujahideen members broke out in Batla House in Jamia Nagar, Okhla, in September 2008 that left a police officer and two alleged militants dead.
The AAP, which has 28 seats in the Delhi assembly, is in office on the strength of support given by eight members of the Congress. It is also propped up by an Independent and a Janata Dal-United legislator.
(Posted on 30-01-2014)