Ishrat Jahan case: BJP hails Rajnath for constituting team to probe missing files

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) on Monday hailed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s decision to constitute a high-level team to look into the issue of missing files with regard to the alleged encounter of Ishrat Jahan and said the truth behind the missing documents must come out in public domain.

“The truth should come out. Whatever facts are should be known. After all, it is a matter of great concern if important government papers that too on a sensitive issue like Ishrat Jehan case and change of affidavit has not been found. It needs to be ascertained where it is. We will wait for the report,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI.

The committee, which would be headed by Additional Secretary (Home) B.K. Prasad, will look into how the draft of the second affidavit went missing and who drafted it.

The Home Minister had last week told the Lok Sabha that many documents related to the preparation of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case were missing and an internal inquiry had been ordered.

He further stated that the two letters written by the then home secretary (G.K. Pillai) to the Attorney General are not traceable. The draft of the second affidavit that came from the Attorney General in which the then home minister P. Chidambaram made changes is also missing.

The Gujarat Police on June 15, 2004, shot dead three men and a woman – 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan -while they were allegedly on a mission to assassinate then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

However, a probe conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team found it to be a fake encounter.

According to the Home Ministry officials, the first affidavit in the case 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 was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) activist but it was ignored in the second affidavit.

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

Former union home secretary G. K. Pillai had claimed that as home minister Chidambaram had recalled the file a month after the original affidavit, which described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives, was filed in the court. (ANI)