Terming the Batla House encounter "totally fake", the Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Ahmed Bukhari has accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre of harassing Muslims.
"Neither the Muslims nor the youth of Azamgarh are terrorists, but it is the government which is terrorizing them," he said on Tuesday.
The cleric was in the town to meet family members of local youth Shahzad, a suspected terrorist arrested recently by the Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with 2008 serial blasts and the Batla encounter.
Hitting out at AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh who visited Azamgarh recently, Bukhari said he had gone there to befool Muslims.
He accused the Congress leader of doublespeak saying one thing in Azamgarh and another on his return to Delhi.
"Instead of issuing contradictory statements, it would have been better had Digvijay Singh demanded a fresh inquiry into the Batla encounter," the Shahi Imam said.
Terming the encounter "totally fake", Bukhari said he had come here to meet affected families of the Batla House incident.
Taking a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the cleric said though he was touring different parts of the country and meeting Dalits, he had not met families of those arrested for their alleged involvement in terror activities.
He said any attempt by Rahul to visit Azamgarh without the release of innocent youths who, the cleric alleged, had been framed in fake cases would be opposed tooth and nail.