NEW DELHI: The ruling BJP at the Centre came down heavily on the Congress-led opposition parties for questioning the Batla House encounter in 2008, a day after a Delhi court convicted an Indian Mujahideen operative Arij Khan for killing Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma.

Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Why is the Congress, Mamata Didi and all those who questioned the Batla House encounter silent now after the court’s verdict in this case.”

“Will Sonia Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee apologise for misleading the entire nation over the Batla House encounter case,” the Union Minister asked.

Slamming the opposition parties for their questionable conduct in the case, which came as a big blow to the morale of the Delhi Police, Prasad said, “The BJP slams the leading opposition parties for failing to rise above petty politics on a very sensitive issue linked to the country’s security and questioning the action of the law and enforcement agencies. Will they apologise now after the court’s convicted a an IM operative for killing a decorated Delhi Police officer during the Batla House encounter.”

The hard-hitting reaction from the BJP came a day after a Delhi court convicted Indian Mujahideen terrorist Ariz Khan in the case of the 2008 Batla House shootout which he had escaped.

His sentencing has been scheduled for next Monday.

The encounter between the Delhi police and a bunch of terrorists holed up in the Okhla area of the national capital led to the death of one police officer while two others sustained injuries. He is also the alleged mastermind of the 2008 serial blasts across Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh.

In 2013, one Shahzad Ahmed, who, too, had escaped the Batla House shootout with Khan, was convicted and sentenced. Two of their accomplices, Atif Amin and Mohammed Sajid, were killed in the incident. A third, Mohammed Saif, was arrested from the location. Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma lost his life while two other officers were injured.

Khan, a native of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by the Delhi police’s Special Cell in February 2018.

The multiple bombings that rocked cities like Jaipur and Ahmedabad, apart from the national capital itself, in 2008 saw 165 people losing their lives and over 500 injured in all. A reward of Rs 15 lakh had been declared on him, besides an Interpol Red Corner Notice.

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