Shah Resignation Too Little, Too Late: Congress

New Delhi, Jul 24 (IANS): The Congress said Saturday the resignation of the charge-sheeted Gujarat minister of state for home Amit Shah was a step "too little, too late".

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters here that with Shah and several police officers charged with the 2005 staged shootout of businessman Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi, "the true face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been exposed".

"The top leadership of the BJP is fully supporting and justifying the action of Shah. There is no remorse, no apology and no acceptance of the guilt," Singhvi said.

Singhvi said the BJP should explain why Shah was hiding. He said a senior BJP leader (L.K. Advani) had refused to resign earlier despite being charge-sheeted for criminal offences.

Shah resigned Saturday, after a chief metropolitan court in Ahmedabad rejected his anticipatory bail plea. On Thursday, the CBI had served summons to Shah to appear before it. Shah did not appear either on Thursday or Friday, the extended deadline.

Sheikh was killed in an alleged gunfight with the police Nov 26, 2005 and police accused him of being a Lashkar-e-Taiba activist. They claimed he had come to Ahmedabad to target senior political leaders. His wife Kausar Bi went missing later.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the case under Supreme Court direction, had charged 14 police officers of Gujarat and Rajasthan with abducting and killing Sheikh. Based on the telephonic conversation records between the police officers and Shah during the course of the "encounter", the CBI has charged Shah too with murder.

Singhvi said Shah was committing contempt of court by not submitting before the court.

Earlier, the Congress slammed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for criticising the CBI for its probe into the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case, saying he was attacking the Supreme Court by doing so.

Party general secretary B.K. Hariprasad said Modi has no right to criticise the CBI as the probe was held under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

"By attacking CBI, the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is attacking the apex court. The CBI investigation is being monitored by the Supreme Court. And Modi is speaking against the Supreme Court," Hariprasad said.

Modi, before announcing the resignation of Shah, accused the Congress of "misusing" the CBI to "fabricate allegations" against his minister and also "conspiring" to hamper the development of Gujarat.

Reacting to Modi's remark that the Congress has made Sheikh a national hero and tried to use this issue for the 2007 assembly elections, Hariprasad said "the Congress is not a party of sadists". He also called Modi a "champion" of dividing people.

"It is the Bharatiya Janata Party who divide the people for electoral purposes. Modi is a champion of dividing people for electoral purposes," Hariprasad, who is also the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Gujarat, told IANS.

The Congress also asked Shah to surrender before the CBI.

"He (Shah) needs to submit to the process of justice. He must set an example by surrendering," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told a television channel.

The dead man's family alleged that Sheikh and his wife were abducted from a bus and then killed in cold blood near Ahmedabad.



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Title: Shah Resignation Too Little, Too Late: Congress

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