The Uttar Pradesh government is all set to challenge Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to prove his allegations about women being raped and 74 people being burnt alive in Bhatta Parsaul village of Greater Noida.
A violent clash earlier in May, between policemen and farmers seeking higher compensation for their acquired land, had left four people dead in the village.
Dismissing his allegations as "baseless, false and concocted", an official spokesman told rediff.com, "The charges were intended to tarnish the image of the government."
To refute Rahul's charges, he raised several vital questions: "How is it that not one villager talked about killings and rape until Rahul Gandhi surfaced in Bhatta Parsaul? After all, so many journalists have visited the area days before the Congress general secretary visited the village."
He added, "Isn't it ridiculous to imagine that in today's hi-tech environment, 74 people would get killed and their bodies would be burnt without the incident raising a whimper and not drawing the attention of a round-the-clock active media?"
The spokesman wondered how someone like Rahul Gandhi, who was "aspiring to become India's prime minister," could be so gullible as to be guided blindly by his advisor Digvijay Singh.
"The less said the better about him (Singh), as he was the one who chose to refer to the world's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden as Ladenji," he observed.
"And even if the police resorted to firing, there was a justified reason as some locals, under the garb of farmer leaders, had abducted three state roadway employees and the police had to release them from illegal captivity," he pointed out.
The spokesman also sought to point out that the photographs displayed by Rahul Gandhi did not show the remains of any dead body amidst the ashes that "appeared to be of burnt haystacks".
The protestors' attack on District Magistrate Deepak Agarwal and Senior Superintendent of Police S N Singh prompted the policemen to react violently and they set a number of huts ablaze, he said.
The spokesperson added that to claim the policemen went on a massacre was stretching one's imagination a bit too far.