The Congress and Communist lead Opposition abused Sri Modi, for the Ishrat Jahan Case - BJP top guns put up fierce defence : 1.Chidambaram gives new ammo to the embattled BJP to take on Congress
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Sub : BJP top guns put up fierce defence : 1.Chidambaram gives new ammo to the embattled BJP to take on Congress
Ref : The Congress and Communist lead Opposition abused Sri Modi, for the Ishrat Jahan Case -
Chidambaram gives new ammo to the embattled BJP to take on Congress
New Delhi: The high profile former union minister P Chidambaram seems to be in big trouble. Chidambaram, known as just PC in the political circles, is in the midst of a political storm. As union home minister, he is accused of changing Ishrat Jahan affidavit to ‘fix’ Narendra Modi and others. At the same time, he and his son Karti Chidambaram is facing the ire of AIADMK over Aircel-Maxis deal.
GK Pillai, who was the union home secretary when Chidambaram was the home minister, has taken on his ex-boss raising serious doubts over the entire Ishrat Jahan ‘fake encounter’ incident of 2004, in which several police officers went to jail.
An employee of the Ministry of Home Affairs RVS Mani has also made serious allegations that he was tortured by an IPS officer to change the affidavit in the Ishrat case. It has given a new ammo to the ruling BJP at the Centre to take on the Congress and the Left.
At the same time, the AIADMK MPs are up in the arms against Chidambaram and his son in Parliament. They are demanding a thorough probe in the alleged role of the father and son duo in the Aircel–Maxis deal.
According to “The Indian Express” with AIADMK MPs displaying copies of The Pioneer newspaper which claimed in a report that raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax had revealed Karti’s investments in real estate deals as part of a “huge business empire” across the world, Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day at around 2.45 pm and Rajya Sabha around 4 pm on Tuesday.
Later, Karti said in a statement, “One newspaper has made allegations against me, which have been adequately refuted in the past. Myself and my business are fully compliant with all laws and regulations.”
He also added, “All filings are up to date. All statutory regulatory filings are completely up to date. That is all I have got to say, If I am compliant, I can’t be money laundering.”
The BJD, meanwhile, submitted two notices for discussions in Lok Sabha on the alleged Aircel-Maxis scam. The CBI is investigating whether the then finance minister P Chidambaram was the competent authority to give approval to Maxis subsidiary Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd to invest $800 million in Aircel Ltd in 2006; other similar cases were sent to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for approval.
With Tamil Nadu Assembly elections less than two months away, the issue is likely to affect the Congress which is a marginal player in the state. The Congress has once again returned to the DMK led alliance recently.
The Ishrat Jahan case is likely to affect the Congress in the days to come. Chidambaram’s statement on the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru has also embarrassed the Congress forcing it to distance itself from his statements.
Some political analysts feel that the ruling BJP is cleverly using Chidambaram related issues to divert the attention from Rohith Vemula’s suicide, JNU sedition row and economic woes at home. Whatever may be the truth, one time crisis manager and a sharp brain of the Congress, Chidambaram has given the BJP new weapons to fight the Congress and the Left.
In Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK will definitely use Chidambaram and Karti issue to attack the DMK–Congress alliance. Chidambaram, who is not even a member of the Parliament, is finding it difficult to defend himself and his statements.
Ishrat Jahan Case: As BJP Escalates Attack, Sonia Gandhi Backs Chidambaram
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has come out in support of P Chidambaram, who has been bombarded with allegations by the ruling BJP over the Ishrat Jehan case.
Asked to respond to the BJP's allegations that the former home minister rewrote an affidavit on Ishrat Jehan for political reasons, Mrs Gandhi said today: "Chidambaram has already explained this. We have been targeted since we were in power."
Ishrat, 19, was shot dead along with three others in Gujarat in 2004. Gujarat police officers claimed that all four were involved in a plot to assassinate then chief minister Mr Modi.
The BJP has alleged that Mr Chidambaram changed his ministry's affidavit to the Gujarat High Court, which cited intelligence inputs to say that Ishrat was a terrorist, and submitted a second one that said there was no proof of the teen's terror links.
The BJP has alleged that Mr Chidambaram amended the document to suit his Congress party's stand that Ishrat was innocent and shot in cold blood on the Gujarat government's orders. The party alleges that Mr Chidambaram was directed by his leadership to frame Narendra Modi and Amit Shah ahead of the Gujarat elections.
"The government is not closed to the option of a judicial probe in the entire episode," Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters last evening.
The BJP has also seized on former Home Secretary GK Pillai 's allegation that Mr Chidambaram bypassed him, "called a lower functionary in the Intelligence Bureau and totally rewrote the affidavit."
"Mr Chidambaram as Home Minister of India changed an affidavit to say there was no conclusive evidence to prove Ishrat's Lashkar links. Can a home minister behave in such an irresponsible manner?" Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned.
Mr Chidambaram has said that the revised affidavit was "absolutely correct". "As a minister I accept full responsibility for the affidavit and it is disappointing that the former home secretary who is equally responsible wants to distance himself from that now," he said on Monday, reacting to Mr Pillai's allegation.
Ishrat Jahan case: Was forced to file second affidavit, burnt with cigarettes, says former under secretary
In a startling revelation, RVS Mani, former under secretary in the home ministry on Tuesday told Times Now that he was coerced to file the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case.
The second affidavit is the one in which the references to the alleged links of Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were removed. When he was asked whether he filed the second affidavit, Mani told Times Now, "No...I was given an order to file it. That was the order of the government. So, I went and signed it."
Mani also hinted that the second affidavit had actually been filed on the directions of then home minister P Chidambaram.
"It was not drafted at my level," he said. "If the home secretary did not file the affidavit, it is clear who filed it. The home secretary is the senior-most bureaucrat in the MHA. The conclusion is easily drawn," he added.
On being asked whether it was correct to believe that there political interference in the Ishrat Jahan case, Mani said it was "perfectly okay" to believe that.
An even more disturbing claim which Mani made was that he was tortured by Satish Verma, the Indian Police Service officer who served as lead investigator in the Ishrat Jahan case. "What Satish Verma did to me was unprecedented...On 21 June 2013, Satish Verma burnt me with cigarettes," he told Times Now.
"He was not collecting evidence, but engineering evidence," he further said. "I was chased by so many officers and people," he added.
"At one point of time, I thought I won't be able to continue (as Under Secretary). Baseless cases were opened against me," he said. He also alleged that a lady officer of the CBI had chased him once.
This is not the first time Mani has spoken out against Satish Verma. In 2013, he had alleged that Verma sought to coerce him into signing a statement unsupported by evidence, according to this Firstpost report.
Mani's shocking claims come just a few days after former home secretary GK Pillai on Thursday had revealed that someone at the political level did not want the real picture to come out in the Ishrat Jahan case.
Pillai had mentioned that two affidavits submitted by the home ministry in relation to the case were contradictory to each other.
The former home secretary had said there was no doubt that those killed in the alleged fake encounter in Gujarat had links with Lashkar-e-Taiba. "They were LeT activists. She (Ishrat) knew that something was wrong. Otherwise an unmarried young Muslim woman would not have gone with some other men," he had said.
Ishrat Jahan was one among four people killed in an alleged fake encounter case in 2004. Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai besides two Pakistani nationals Amjad Ali and Jishan Johar Abdul Ghani, all alleged LeT terrorists, were also killed in the encounter. The case had been a major point of controversy.
With inputs from PTI
J&K link opens up: 13 days after Ishrat died, man who tied her to LeT killed
Behind the political firestorm generated by former Home Secretary G K Pillai’s revelations that the Ishrat Jahan killing was a planned intelligence operation is the silence of J&K police whose investigation “established” the identity of a Lashkar operative killed in that alleged fake encounter.
On June 26, 2004, J&K police arrested “a Lashkar-e-Toiba commander, Shahid Mehmood”, whose alleged disclosures were subsequently cited in affidavits by Gujarat and the Union Home Ministry to establish that one of the three men killed with Ishrat was “Amjad Ali alias Salim alias Babar, a Pakistani terrorist”.
Mehmood also allegedly revealed that Babar “had been dispatched to Ahmedabad by Muzzamil (a senior LeT commander) for a VIP target”.
However, on June 28, 2004, 13 days after Ishrat was gunned down by Gujarat police and as doubts began to emerge over the killing, Mahmood and another Pakistani militant Zahid Hafiz were gunned down in an alleged staged encounter in Aastan Pora on the outskirts of Srinagar.
J&K police also claimed to have busted a Lashkar module in Srinagar and arrested 18 men who they claimed had provided logistic support to Mehmood and Zahid. Police pointed to the “connections of this module” with the “suspected LeT operatives who were gunned down in Ahmedabad on June 15”.
However, all the 18 arrested, including an electrician deputed at the Chief Minister’s residence, a minister’s driver and a policeman, were subsequently released on bail.
After Mehmood and Zahid — the two witnesses who could have identified Babar — were killed, J&K police didn’t allow their counterparts from Gujarat to take custody of the 18 they had arrested for allegedly being part of Mehmood and Zahid’s module.
Sources said that a Gujarat police team even went to Srinagar looking for the four men J&K police had claimed had sheltered Babar — the team was only allowed to question three of the four.
Today, Mehmood’s alleged disclosure — he did not mention the names of Ishrat or her associates or any conspiracy targeting the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi — remains the only “evidence” to establish the claim that at least one of the three who was killed that day was a Pakistani national tied to LeT.
In his affidavit before Gujarat High Court, the Union Home Ministry’s Under Secretary, Internal Security, R V S Mani, stated that “two of the persons killed in the police encounter on 15-6-2004 were Pakistani nationals and it was known that they were sent by LeT to carry out terrorist actions in Gujarat”.
“One of the killed LeT cadre was Amjad Ali @Babar @Salim. J&K Police arrested, on June 25-28, a group of 18 LeT terrorists headed by the chief operational commander for central Kashmir Shahid Mehmood and his Pakistani associate Zahid Ahmad. In their disclosures, they mentioned that Amjad Ali @ Babbar @ Salim had entered India under express instructions... for organizing terrorist networks,” the affidavit stated.
Ishrat Jahan: The inconvenient story no one wants to tell
Editor's Note: This article was published on 13 July, 2013 and is being re-published in light of David Headley's deposition on Thursday that identified Ishrat Jahan as a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative
Late in the summer of 2004, the Lashkar-e-Taiba's top operations commander Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi held the terrorist organisation's first meeting with David Headley, the young Chicago drug dealer-turned-jihadist at the heart of the 26/11 project.
Lakhvi told Headley he would be working with Muzammil Bhat, the full-bearded 6'4" giant in the room, who counted among the Lashkar's most able operatives. Bhat's achievements, Federal Bureau of Investigations interrogators recorded Headley as being told, included multiple strikes in Kashmir and recruiting a "female suicide bomber named Ishrat Jahaan [sic]."
"Zaki," Headley went on, "mentioned Muzammil's plans to attack Akshardham temple, Somnath and Siddhi temples. These attacks were revenge for the 1988 attack on the mosque in Yuppe [sic, the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh]."
Nine years since a hail of bullets ripped through Mumbra resident Ishrat Jahan Raza's body, a Central Bureau of Investigations into her killing, along with three men, threatens to indict the highest leadership of India's intelligence services for cold-blooded execution.
Even as the CBI works towards finding out just how Ishrat died, there's a growing mass of evidence that suggests the United Progressive Alliance government has been economical with the truth about her life and her death.
Last year, the National Investigations Agency told Gujarat High Court judges Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari they had nothing but "hearsay" on Ishrat. Firstpost's documentation on the FBI interrogation of Headley shows the union government knew otherwise-but remained silent.
It isn't the only thing it has chosen to be silent on.
Early on the morning of 15 June 2004, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead on the road leading to the Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
KP Singh was at that time director of the Intelligence Bureau; Nehchal Sandhu, who is today deputy national security advisor, was then in charge of counter-terrorism operations; MK Narayanan, who is today West Bengal governor, was then advisor on internal security. And Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister, then as now.
The first three, without doubt, would have known of the IB warning that went out to all states on 22 April 2004, warning of imminent attacks on top Hindu nationalist politicians, including LK Advani.
Later, the IB's Gujarat station would provide the Gujarat Police more detail, telling Ahmedabad's police chief there were two Pakistani terrorists with Punjabi accents planning an attack, in coordination with a Pune resident.
From accounts given to Firstpost by three separate intelligence sources, the IB's operation had its genesis in February 2004, when the Jammu and Kashmir Police shot dead Poonch-based Lashkar operative Ehsan Illahi.
Letters found on Illahi's body led the police to an Ahmedabad-based lawyer. From there, the operation rolled on. There's some reason to believe the Lashkar's plot was penetrated.
First Information Report 8 of 2004, filed by the Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch after the killing, records that the authorities knew of the imminent arrival of a blue Tata Indica carrying the victims, bearing the licence plate number MH02 JA4786-suggesting the Intelligence Bureau had an informant on the inside.
"No one suggested that based on an intelligence input you should kill someone," former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said in 2009. That's true, but it neatly dodges the question of what the UPA did when four terrorists whom its intelligence services were following ended up dead.
The CBI hasn't sought any answers, so far, from any of the people who can answer that question.
We know next to nothing, too, about what led Javed Sheikh to his death. Born Praneshkumar Pillai at Thamarakulam village in Kerala's Alappuzha district, Sheikh met and fell in love with Sajida Sheikh in 1986.
He converted to Islam in an (unsuccessful) effort to overcome her family's resistance. In September 1995, though, the two married and moved to Mumbai's Mumbra area. Then, they shifted to Pune after a business dispute turned violent. Sheikh's life continued to be turbulent; the police filed four rioting cases against him in 1997 alone.
In 2003, Sheikh left for Dubai, securing a job on a forged Indian Technical Institute certificate. He returned, according to Sajida Sheikh's testimony, embittered by videotapes he had seen of the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat.
On 29 March 2004, Sheikh again flew to Oman, on passport E6624023, identifying him as Praneshkumar M. Gopinath Pillai-having obtained this in addition to a passport in his Muslim name. He flew back to Mumbai on 11 April carrying Rs 2.5 lakh in cash, which he used to purchase the Indica he drove to his death.
The government said, in a 2004 affidavit, that Sheikh "was in regular touch with Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives, particularly Muzammil Bhat." Government sources say there is wiretap evidence to back this up, but the UPA hasn't ever ordered it made public, and the CBI hasn't sought it.
Sheikh met Ishrat and her mother in Mumbra on 1 May 2004-where Sheikh said he needed a salesgirl for a new perfume store. There is no evidence that Sheikh ran a perfume business.
On 30 May, he drove his wife and children to the family home in Alappuzha. From 6 June to 9 June, the family stayed at Sajida Sheikh's family home in Ahmednagar. Then, Sajida Sheikh said, her husband called on the morning of 11 June to say he had to go to Mumbai on unexpected work. Two days later, when Sajida Sheikh called her husband, his cellphone was out of network reach.
Hotel staff at the Tulsi Guest House in Bardoli, on National Highway 6 outside of Surat, say Sheikh and Ishrat checked in after 2 am on 12 June 2004. On 14 June, their car developed mechanical trouble. The staff at the Shakti Motor Garage outside Ahmedabad told the police that Sheikh paid Rs 1,025 for repairs.
Earlier this month, additional solicitor-general Indira Jaisingh told the Supreme Court the CBI has evidence the group was kidnapped on the orders of former state intelligence chief PP Pandey at least a day before they were shot dead.
Last month, the CBI interrogated former Gujarat Intelligence Bureau station chief Rajinder Kumar, now in charge of counter-intelligence operations.
The organisation is reported to be seeking his arrest, saying he was responsible for having the alleged terrorists "detained illegally and brought to Gujarat." It's hard to see how his superiors wouldn't have known-and why they aren't being asked about it.
Funnily, though, the five police officers alleged to have been actually present when Ishrat was allegedly kidnapped and killed-Girish Singhal, Tarun Barot, JG Parmar, Bharat Patel and Anaju Chaudhary-got bail after the CBI failed to file charges against them in the 90 days allowed by law.
This presumably happened because the CBI doesn't have enough evidence against them to sustain a prosecution-though it claims to have witnesses to the kidnapping and illegal detention.
Nine years ago, no one knew for sure whether Ishrat was a terrorist or not, and whether she was killed in cold blood or a legitimate exchange of fire.
It's unclear why the CBI hasn't spoken to large numbers of people who might have something to add to this story.
From the testimony of Faizabad resident Muhammad Wasi, made before an Ahmedabad magistrate, there's reason to believe Sheikh shopped for pistols and a sten gun in Uttar Pradesh sometime after February 2004. Wasi claims Sheikh was introduced to him by another Faizabad resident, Muhammad Mehrajuddin-whom the CBI hasn't even sought to locate.
The CBI hasn't questioned Muhammad Abdul Razzak, an alleged jihadist held by the Delhi Police in 2005, who claimed to have told interrogators he sent Sheikh to a jihad training camp.
Kashmir residents Majid Husain Qadri, Pervez Ahmad Khan Abdul Aziz Shah, alleged to have helped Amjad Ali Rana after he was shot trying to cross the Line of Control, have never once been questioned. Investigators say the three men had Johar treated in New Delhi, at the City Clinic in Paharganj. Siddharth Sahai, who performed surgery on Rana, identified him when the police showed him photographs.
Then, there's Headley's testimony-totally ignored so far.
For years now, we've got plenty of things that make headlines, but nothing resembling even part of the truth.
In 2009, metropolitan magistrate KS Tamang indicted the police for faking the encounter, but in a report full of mind-boggling nonsense: "given the nature of women, none usually wears her college identity card during journey"; "when any lady travels from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, she invariably carries her purse and handkerchief in her hands."
It made multiple errors of appraisal, from misreading forensic evidence to presumptively declaring the suspects "innocents".
Gujarat's High Court responded to petitions by the families of Ishrat and Sheikh by appointing a special investigation team. From the outset, there was contention with Karnail Singh and Mohan Jha, among allegations of bias. Notably, lead officer Satish Verma rejected the findings of forensic experts who concluded that the encounter didn't appear faked at all. Verma himself faces allegations relating to alleged negligence in the landing of smuggled explosives and extrajudicial killings-and the targets of investigation claim, rightly or wrongly, that he harbours biases against them.
Like all truths, the whole truth about Ishrat Jahan's life and death likely won't please anyone. It's critical, though, to the credibility of India's criminal justice system, and the future of our struggle against terrorism. Nothing anyone has done so far, though, suggests anyone really wants to tell the story-and nothing the CBI is doing gives reason to think that's going to change.
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