“Chidambaram changed Ishrat affidavit due to ‘undue pressure”

Amidst the ongoing row over the controversial Ishrat Jahan case, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju today said the affidavit describing her as LeT operative was changed by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram due to some “undue pressure”.

“Personally, I feel that Chidambaram is a very experienced politician and is a very learned man. He will not on his own go to the extent of giving a clean chit to a terrorist. There must have been some kind of undue pressure on him,” he told reporters here.

Rijiju said it was clear that there must have been something in the mind of Chidambaram and due to some consideration “which forced him to take such a drastic action which can be termed as anti-national”.

“We will try to find out what went wrong and who all are responsible for that,” he said.

The Minister of State for Home’s comments came in the wake of his senior Rajnath Singh’s statement in Parliament where he accused the erstwhile UPA government of hatching a “deep conspiracy” to frame Narendra Modi when he was then the Gujarat Chief Minister.

Singh also alleged that the previous government had done a ‘flip-flop’ on the links of Ishrat Jahan with terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Ishrat was killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat in 2004.

The first affidavit was filed on the basis of inputs from Maharashtra and Gujarat Police besides the Intelligence Bureau where it was said that the 19-year-old girl from Mumbai outskirts was a Lashkar-e-Taiba activist but it was ignored in the second affidavit, Home Ministry officials said.

The second affidavit, claimed to have been drafted by Chidambaram, said there was no conclusive evidence to prove that Ishrat was a terrorist, officials said.

Referring to missing of some key files related to the case, Rijiju said it was very surprising that the matter has reached Parliament.

“We all are very very surprised with the missing of files. Some of the important documents, specially when the then Home Minister was to make a substantial change in the affidavit. It amounted to giving a clean chit to a terrorist. Also the related files and documents, specially the draft portion which was vetted by the then Attorney General,” he said.

Rijiju said the Home Ministry officials were yet to trace all these documents.

“What we have is the file noting and the affidavit which is being filed in the court. That’s all. What is very apparent is that the then Home Minister very clearly approved a file which stated that a particular lady is a LeT operative and subsequently he changes his mind and said that there is no conclusive proof,” he said.