BJP defends Kataria, alleges political motivation in charges

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) A day after Gulab Chand Kataria was charge-sheeted in the Sohrabuddin murder case, the BJP Wednesday said politically motivated cases were being framed against its leader.

In an aggressive defence of its leader, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh, Rajya Sabha leader of opposition Arun Jaitley and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje said the party would stand by Kataria and will “expose” attempts of the CBI and the Congress both “legally and politically”.

“The booking of Kataria is not based on facts. It is a political conspiracy by the UPA to defame our leaders,” Rajnath Singh told reporters at a news conference here.

“We will fight the case both politically and legally,” he said.

Raje added that the party was with Kataria, and would support him by all means. “We believe he is innocent,” she said.

The developments follow a supplementary chargesheet.

As the BJP has maintained that the CBI is controlled by the government, Jaitley said that the group of ministers formed by central government to look into the issue of the autonomy of CBI was an “eyewash”.

Kataria is the leader of the opposition in Rajasthan and former state home minister.

Kataria, from Rajasthan, is the second high profile politician to be named in the alleged fake encounter case after former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah, considered close to Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Besides Kataria, the others summoned by a Mumbai court include Andhra Pradesh Indian Police Service officer N. Balasubramaniam, police inspector Shrinivas Rao and R.K. Marbles director Vimal Patni.

“In the Amit Shah case as well, there was no evidence. The story of Sohrabuddin has changed. They now have a marble mafia angle,” Jaitley said.

Jaitley also questioned how the CBI did not have any evidence against former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

“There was a time people believed that if CBI carried out a probe, it would have some some merit. There is much more evidence in the Railway Board member appointment case, but the CBI director tells the press we have no evidence. Here, they are framing charges without evidence,” Jaitley said.

Claiming that the Congress was using the CBI to frame BJP workers, Jaitley said the agency has one rule for Kataria and another for Bansal.

The Supreme Court had Sep 27 last year ordered the sensitive case ot be transferred to Maharashtra after the CBI said that witnesses were being threatened and the trial could not be conducted in a free and fair manner in Gujarat.

According to the CBI, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly kidnapped by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad from Hyderabad and killed in a “gunfight” near Gandhinagar in November 2005.

A year later, Tulsiram Prajapati, a prime witness to the incident, was allegedly killed in another staged gunfight in Chapri village of Gujarat’s Banaskantha district.

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