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Sohrabuddin remarks: Modi under fire
December 05, 2007 18:24 IST
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's [Images] justification of the Sohrabuddin fake encounter killing sparked an outrage among the non-Bharatiya Janata Party parties on Wednesday, with the Congress saying he is in contempt of court while the saffron party defended him saying he was only giving a "political response" to the kind of charges hurled at him.
The Communist Party of India-M described as shameful Modi's comments at an election rally in Mangrol in South Gujarat that Sohrabuddin "got what he deserved" and said not even the prime minister can decide the fate of a murderer and it was only the legal process which could do so.
Lawyers and NGOs also joined the Congress to say that Modi is in contempt of court for his controversial utterances.
"Don't hang him like Sohrabuddin, throw him out by constitutional means," he said. He wondered what should be done to a chief minister who is judge, jury and a prosecutor--"all rolled into one".
"What should be done to a chief minister who had illusion of grandiose and thinks that he is the dictator of a state and not in a democratic republic," Singvi said.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley, party's in-charge of Gujarat affairs, while putting up a defence of Modi, said the chief minister has "politically responded" to the kind of statements that the Congress was making and specifically referred to Sonia Gandhi's [Images] charge he was a "merchant of death".
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said, "This is shameful. We condemn Modi's comments. Even if he is a criminal, the chief minister or, for that matter, even the prime minister, cannot decide the fate."
"It is the law that pronounces the punishment. To justify the act of a murder, it is even worse," he said.
Meanwhile, Gagan Sethi, founder of Centre for Social Justice, a non-government organisation, said the justification of fake encounter by Modi was a fit case of contempt of court.
The Sohrabuddin matter is subjudice and hence the justification of the encounter was nothing but contempt of the court, he said.
Senior advocate P P Rao said if Modi is owning the responsibility of the action of the police in the fake encounter killing as chief minister then he puts himself in the position of an accused person who deserves to be added as an accused in the trial.