Nitish Kumar denies calling Ishrat Jahan ‘Bihar ki Beti’, threatens to sue media

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has denied describing Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an encounter in Gujarat, as a ‘daughter of Bihar’ and threatened to sue the media for ‘putting words into his mouth’.

“Show me any piece of evidence that I described Ishrat Jahan as daughter of Bihar?” Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of the ‘Janata Ke Darbar Mein Mukhya Mantri’ programme on Monday.

“I have been perusing through records and news clippings to ascertain if I ever used this (describing Ishrat Jahan as a daughter of Bihar). After doing necessary ground work, I will initiate legal action against the media, electronic as well print, for putting words in my mouth to this effect,” he said.

“I am very guarded in using words and making comments on anything, and will not tolerate this of putting words in my mouth to defame me,” the Bihar Chief Minister said.

In July 2013, severing ties with the BJP, Kumar called Ishrat ‘Bihar ki Beti’ because she had spent her childhood in the state. He was criticising Narendra Modi, then Gujarat CM, for the alleged fake encounter, in which the Mumbra girl was killed near Ahmedabad.

Kumar’s remark came few days after Bihar’s Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav backed his statement that Ishrat Jahan was ‘Bihar’s daughter’.

Last week, Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley, in his third deposition, claimed that Ishrat was a suicide bomber of LeT. Soon after this, the opposition BJP in Bihar had dug Kumar’s old comment describing Ishrat, born in Bihar, as a ‘daughter of Bihar’ to hit out at him. The party had also demanded that Bihar Chief Minister apologise for calling Ishrat ‘Bihar ki Beti’.

“After the encounter, many leaders called her innocent and some were calling her the daughter of Bihar. Today, it has become clear that it was not a fake encounter, and they should take back their statements,” BJP national spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain had said.