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Batala House gunfight fake, reiterates Digvijaya

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New Delhi, May 24 : Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday stuck to his earlier stance that the 2008 Batala House gunfight here was “fake” even as a video footage telecast on a TV channel claimed that a suspect Bada Sajid was seen in a “IS video”.

“First of all I always said it was a false and fake encounter and I still hold the same view.

“It is for the investigative agency to prove that (presence of suspect is IS video). We had asked for a judicial probe… if that had been accepted everything would have come out in the right perspective,” the Congress leader told media persons here.

Suspected terrorist Mohammed Sajid alias Bada Sajid, who reportedly escaped from Delhi on the day of the gunfight at Jamia Nagar area of south Delhi could be one of the fugitives who featured in an alleged IS propaganda video, said a TV report on Tuesday.

It claimed Bada Sajid is one of the five people who allegedly featured in the 22-minute video posted by the IS recently. Police and home ministry sources said Sajid belonged to the Azamgarh module of the Indian Mujahideen (IM).

The Congress leader had claimed earlier that the gunfight in which Delhi Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was killed was “fake”, saying: “My objection to the ‘encounter’ was simple as in an ‘encounter’, no one can get five shots on the head.”

On the case of Sajid, he said: “There are hundreds of Sajids, I do not know.”

However, he said if the government, the National Investigation Agency and Research and Analysis Wing have any evidence against anyone to prove about their involvement in such terror acts, “they should be strongly prosecuted”.

Meanwhile, a home ministry source merely said that the matter as reported in the TV channel will be looked into.

The Batala House gunfight took place a week after five serial blasts in Delhi on September 13, 2008 in which at least 30 people were killed and over 100 injured.

The issue of alleged “fake encounter” was also used politically chiefly by Samajwadi Party and Congress.

Seven Delhi police personnel had stormed an apartment building in Batla House in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar were that terrorists from the Indian Mujahideen were allegedly hiding.

Two suspected terrorists were shot dead while one named Shahzad was arrested and a fourth had reportedly managed to escape. They all belonged to the Azamgarh area of Uttar Pradesh.

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Telangana minister drops plan to vaccinate after PM Modi’s suggestion

Minister for Industry and Information Technology K.T. Rama Rao later told reporters that the decision was taken on the Prime Minister’s suggestion.

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K T Rama Rao

Hyderabad, Jan 16 : Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender on Saturday decided not to take Covid vaccine, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to politicians to give priority to healthcare workers.

The minister was scheduled to take the vaccine at Gandhi hospital on the first day.

Following the national rollout of the programme by the Prime Minister, Rajender formally launched vaccination at the hospital but returned without taking the jab.

Minister for Industry and Information Technology K.T. Rama Rao later told reporters that the decision was taken on the Prime Minister’s suggestion.

“I am the captain of this (health) department,” Rajender had remarked while defending his decision to inoculate himself, at a news conference on Friday evening.

However, the health minister changed his mind after Modi’s suggestion. Following requests of politicians from some states, the Prime Minister advised them to wait and give preference to healthcare workers.

Public representatives are ready to take the vaccine but they will wait in view of the Prime Minister’s suggestion, said Rama Rao after inaugurating the vaccination at a centre at Tilak Nagar in Hyderabad.

A total of 4,000 healthcare workers are taking the vaccine at 139 centres across Telangana on Saturday.

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Hooda, several other Haryana Cong leaders detained during march to Raj Bhawan

Talking to the media, Hooda said that they would force the BJP-led central government to repeal the farm laws.

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Bhupinder Sing Hooda

Several Haryana Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Bhupinder Sing Hooda, marched towards the Raj Bhawan on Friday to protest against the Centre’s farm laws and hike in fuel prices, but were detained by the police.

Police put up barricades to stop the protesters from moving towards the Raj Bhawan.

When Hooda and other party leaders tried to march towards the Haryana Raj Bhawan, they were detained by the police and taken to the Sector-17 police station in a bus. Talking to the media, Hooda said that they would force the BJP-led central government to repeal the farm laws.

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UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu detained in Lucknow

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AJay Kumar Lallu

Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu and party workers were detained while trying to march towards Raj Bhavan in Lucknow during a protest against the new farm laws.

Lallu said: “I want to say that I welcome the vaccine. I would like to thank the scientists who have developed it. It is the duty of the government to help people in times of a pandemic. When the pandemic struck, people contributed through money and other ways. Now that the vaccine is here, my primary demand is that it should be provided to people for free.

CM Yogi Adityanathji should get the vaccine first because that will help people get rid of all the misconceptions about the vaccine.”

Earlier, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said he would not take the “BJP’s vaccine”. Following criticism, he had subsequently tweeted the same day that he had “full confidence” in the ability of scientists, but would not take the BJP’s “political vaccine”.

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