PC says encounter genuine, Digvijaya sticks to his stand

The differences that existed between the government and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh over the genuineness of the Batla House encounter played all over again on Thursday.

While Finance Minister P Chidambaram who was then the Home Minister maintained that the encounter was genuine, Singh stuck to his stand that a judicial probe should have been ordered.

The Congress, which had earlier ticked off Singh on the issue, said the matter should be settled now as the judicial verdict has been pronounced. Singh said he's sticking to his stand that a judicial inquiry should have been ordered.

"From what I saw in the photographs and postmortem report, I think my demand for a judicial inquiry was fully justified. In any encounter, it's not possible to get hit by five bullets on the top of the head. If a judicial inquiry had been held, many of the issues could have been resolved and the kind of polarised debate which we saw later could have been avoided," Singh said, without commenting on the court

verdict.

Chidambaram, on the other hand, reiterated that it was a genuine encounter.

"I spent a lot of time poring over the papers and talking to officers involved. I was satisfied that it was a genuine encounter...I am glad that the police have been able to prove their case," he said.

The BJP, meanwhile, demanded that Singh admit his mistake. "That (verdict) means the encounter was not fake. After this verdict, Digvijaya should accept his mistake," said BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

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