Headley’s statement on Ishrat Jahan vindicates Gujarat police: Vanzara

Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley’s revelation that Ishrat Jahan was working for Lashkar-e-Taiba, has “vindicated” Gujarat police’s stand that she was a terrorist and the gun-battle in which she was killed was “genuine”, retired IPS officer D G Vanzara said on Thursday.

Ishrat, the 19-year-old college girl, and three others were killed in 2004 in an alleged fake encounter by police in Gujarat. Vanzara, who was DCP with city crime branch when the encounter took place, was granted bail by a Mumbai court in February last year. Since he is barred from entering Gujarat by the court, he resides in Mumbai at present.

“The encounter was politicised and taken in another direction. Encounters were genuine but cases against Gujarat police were fake,” Vanzara told reporters.

“The lie that she was an innocent college girl, has been nailed with the Headley deposition,” he said.

Agencies and people claiming fake encounter should know that such claims are to be proved or disproved by the court, he said.

“A chargesheet is not the final word,” he said when pointed out that he was held guilty of a fake encounter in the charge sheet.

Asked what happened that day, he said that matter is subjudice. “I won’t like to go into details,” he said.

“Of the four terrorists killed, talk revolves only around Ishrat,” he said.

Saying that he has all respect and regards for Ishrat being a female, he wondered “what was she doing with the terrorists two of whom were from Pakistan.” “There were inputs from Central agencies that they were terrorists,” he said when asked how was he sure that Ishrat was a terrorist.

The Intelligence Bureau did not have “doubt” about it then and IB does not have any doubt about it now, he claimed adding if there’s firing, police has to retaliate. There are political conspiracies and NGO conspiracies due to which Gujarat police is victimised, he alleged.

Asked if it was a Congress conspiracy, he said it is not necessary to name anyone. It’s not necessary that there be a political party behind such conspiracies, he said.

“I will let you know at the right time,” he said.

Headley’s statement is a slap for those doubting the authenticity of the Ishrat encounter, the retired IPS officer said.

“She was a terrorist. There’s no doubt about it. We don’t need Headley’s certificate for it,” he said.

“The then CM (Narendra) Modi was the terrorists’ target. Many other targets were also given to her,” he said.

Asked if Headley’s statement will be used in his case, Vanzara said it is for us to decide what to use and what not to use.

“Whether he is double agent or single agent he is an approver, and she can give her opinion,” Vanzara said when asked about Ishrat’s mother calling Headley a double agent.