Rajnath likely to speak on Ishrat case in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha is likely to discuss the raging controversy over the affidavits filed in the Ishrat Jahan encounter killing case on Thursday when it takes up a calling-attention notice on the issue.

Home minister Rajnath Singh is slated to reply on the calling-attention motion for which notice has been given by some BJP members led by Nishikant Dubey, who demanded a detailed reply from the government on the facts of the two affidavits filed by the previous government on Ishrat, who 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, said to have been drafted by the then home minister P Chidambaram, said there was no conclusive evidence to prove that Ishrat was a terrorist, officials said.

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.

“Only after the affidavit was revised, as directed by the minister, did the file come to me,” Pillai had said.

Chidambaram had said the second affidavit in the case was “absolutely correct” and as the minister then “I accept the responsibility”.

He had also maintained that the intelligence agencies can only get inputs, they cannot certify. The state police, which has to file the chargesheet, has to investigate and get evidence before filing the charge sheet, he said.

Chidambaram also expressed disappointment over Pillai distancing himself from the affidavit issue despite being “equally responsible”.

Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

The city crime branch had then said those killed in the encounters were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to kill the then chief minister Narendra Modi.