The Indian Express backs report on MHA official tutoring witness in Ishrat case

New Delhi : National Bureau chief of The Indian Express, Manish Chhibber, on Thursday backed the report published in the English daily over Home Ministry official B.K. Prasad, head of the committee looking into the documents missing in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, tutoring a witness in the case and said the matter was reported based on the call records.

“On April 25, my colleague in The Indian Express Sagnik Choudhury spoke to Additional Secretary B.K. Prasad in the Home Ministry, who is also the enquiry officer in the Ishrat Jahan missing documents case. While talking to him on an unrelated issue, Sagnik’s call was put on hold and Prasad started talking to somebody else on another phone. Since the call was getting recorded, we overheard everything that was said,” Chhibber told ANI.

He further stated that it was a big story for the daily as it was clear that Prasad was tutoring another fellow officer, who was also an IAS officer.

“He was actually tutoring him on the questions that he would ask and the answers he expected the officer to say. I will not go into Chidambaram’s statement because that is a political issue between him and the government,” he added.

Pointing out that it was a bona fide story for the publication, Chhibber said it was a story that would awaken everybody.

Countering the news published in ‘The Indian Express’ former home minister P. Chidamabram, who drew flak for the alleged two affidavits filed by the Centre in the Ishrat Jahan case, earlier today said the reports “completely exposed the fake controversy created by the NDA government”, adding that it vindicates his stand.

“The news report published in the Indian Express today (16 June 2016) comprehensively exposes the fake controversy created by the NDA government on the two affidavits filed by the Central government in the Ishrat Jahan case,” Chidambaram said in statement.

Meanwhile, Additional Secretary (Foreigners) Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) B.K. Prasad rubbished the allegations of “tutoring” a witness while probing into “missing papers” relating to the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, contesting that he had conducted a fair inquiry and all officers inquired by him are fully capable of answering questions relating to the probe on their own.

Prasad, who headed the probe into the missing documents in the Ishrat Jahan case, said he had conducted a free and fair inquiry which his Inquiry Report will reveal.

According to a report published in the daily, a Union Home Ministry official, who headed the probe into the missing documents in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, not only told a witness the questions he would ask but also suggested to him what answers he should give – that he had not seen any of the documents.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier said many documents related to the preparation of the ministry’s second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case are missing and an internal inquiry has been ordered. (ANI)