Amit Shah
Amit Shah, the president of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Reuters File

The acquittal of BJP national president Amit Shah by a special CBI court on Tuesday in the alleged fake encounters case has triggered a war of words between the BJP and the Congress.

While the BJP claimed that the CBI was under the influence of Congress-led UPA government when charges were framed against Shah, the Congress attributed the acquittal to pressure exerted by the Modi government on the investigating agency.  

Welcoming the CBI court's order acquitting Shah from all charges in the alleged encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and Sohrabuddin's associate Tulsiram Prajapati, the BJP on Tuesday demanded apology from Congress president Sonia Gandhi for misusing the CBI against rivals to settle scores.

"The order of the special court is a victory of truth...Since Congress cannot win over BJP politically, it conspired to tarnish the image of Amit Shah by embroiling him in a fake case," The Indian Express quoted BJP's national secretary Shrikant Sharma as saying.

The Congress hit back, calling the court ruling "strange and worrisome."

"CBI is now chained, caged and totally immobilised... there must be a tremendous pressure from Government on the needs a much deeper inquiry and is definitely worrisome," IE quoted Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar as saying.

The BJP upped the ante on the Congress, with senior leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley posting an article on Facebook, claiming that the writ petition filed by Sohrabuddin's brother was sponsored by the Congress.

He even claimed that the CBI filed charges against "Shah, the then Home Minister of Gujarat... with the ultimate desire of implicating Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat." He wrote that Shah's arrest was not based on evidence but false testimonies.

"In order to arrest Amit Shah they relied on the false testimony of two witnesses namely, Ramanbhai Patel and Dashrathbhai Patel, noted land grabbers of Gujarat," he wrote, adding that they were "felicitated for having given such a deposition against Shri Amit Shah in a function presided over by Shri Shankersinh Waghela, the then President of Gujarat Congress."

Referring to an earlier judicial order asking Shah to distance himself from Gujarat fearing he would interfere in the investigations, Ajoy Kumar said the court, which once had evidence enough to ensure Shah was sent behind bars, has now acquitted him citing lack of evidence.

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