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May 15, 2013 at 02:12pm IST

Fake encounter: BJP backs Kataria, says CBI targeting Modi

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday lashed out at the Central Bureau of Investigation and questioned its investigations into the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases. The BJP defended Leader of the Opposition in Rajasthan Gulab Chand Kataria saying allegations against him were politically motivated. He also said that the Congress was misusing the CBI to target Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

"Charges against Gulab Chand Kataria are baseless and politically motivated. It's a Congress conspiracy to frame top BJP leaders. We will continue to back our leaders," BJP President Rajnath Singh said.

ALSO SEE Sohrabuddin case: After Amit Shah, BJP's Kataria named

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley slammed the CBI saying it cannot be trusted to carry out a fair probe. "We can't expect CBI to probe fairly and freely. We now know how the CBI operates after its true face came out in the Supreme Court," Jaitley said.

"Former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah was booked in 2010, we said charges were baseless. Amit Shah got bail even though it was a murder case, which is not a normal procedure. It was shoddy investigation. Now they are after Rajasthan Opposition leader Gulab Chand Kataria, who is a respected leader," Jaitley added.

Citing the CBI probe into the Railway cash-for-jobs scam, Jaitley said, "The CBI director has reportedly said they don't have any direct evidence when Pawan Bansal is yet to be interrogated. There is 100 times more evidence in the Railway Board recruitment scam."

The CBI had on Tuesday booked Kataria for murder in its supplementary chargesheet in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Kataria insists that he is innocent.

"I can give a proper response only after reading the proper details of the matter. But I can say that they will be unsuccessful in levelling false allegations against me. The truth will be known to people if not today, then tomorrow," Kataria said.

Kataria has been charged for murder, destruction of evidence, abduction, criminal conspiracy among other serious IPC sections. The CBI is convinced that he played a direct role in hatching the conspiracy to eliminate Sohrabuddin.

The motive is that Sohrabuddin, a smuggler, was trying to extort money from the marble lobby, known to enjoy political patronage. Along with the former minister, three others including two police officers from AP and an Executive Director of the Marble Company, have been chargesheeted.

"As a home minister, Gulab Chand Kataria had tried to save an IPS officer in the fake encounter case. CBI's supplementary chargesheet has proved that Gulab Chand Kataria was involved," Congress Spokesperson Archana Sharma said.