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Centre files fresh affidavit in Ishrat Jahan case

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 23:40

Ahmedabad: Locked in a blame game with the
Gujarat government over the controversial killing of Ishrat
Jahan, the Centre on Wednesday filed a new affidavit saying it never
justified the state police`s action and had no objection to an
`independent` probe.

The fresh affidavit was filed in the Gujarat High Court
after the Narendra Modi government sought to take cover under
the Centre`s first affidavit to validate the police action of
killing the 19-year-old college girl and three others in 2004.
A judicial inquiry by Magistrate Tamang in the Ishrat
Jahan case had concluded that the encounter in which the four
were killed was fake after which the Gujarat government said
as per Centre`s affidavit the four persons were linked to
Lashkar-e-Toiba(LeT) terror outfit.

"The Central Government was not concerned with the merits
of the action taken by the Gujarat Police and anything
stated in the (earlier) affidavit was not intended to support
or justify the action of the State police," the fresh
affidavit said.

"If, on a proper consideration of the facts it is found
that an independent inquiry and investigation has to be
carried out, the Union of India would have no objection to
this and would abide by the decision of the Court," the
affidavit filed by Under Secretary, Internal Security-VI
in the Ministry of Home Affairs, R V S Mani said.

The Gujarat government meanwhile dubbed the new affidavit
as a "nervous" action.

"Why was the UPA government so nervous in this matter?
By filing the affidavit it has virtually triggered a media
trial instead of waiting for the decision of the Gujarat High
Court which has formed a committee to investigate whether the
incident was a fake encounter or not," the state government
spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas said.
The fresh affidavit filed by the MHA has said, "the
Central Government in the said affidavit did not address any
issue relating to the merits or otherwise of the police
action. It was essentially concerned with the dealing of
allegations relating to the intelligence inputs which were
available with the Central Government and which are shared on
a regular basis with the State Governments".

"It should be clear to all that such inputs do not
constitute conclusive proof and it is for the State Government
and the State police to act on such inputs," the new affidavit
said, adding "the Central Government is in no way concerned
with such action nor does it condone or endorse any
unjustified or excessive action."

Even as the Gujarat High Court stayed the Tamang
report, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram slammed the Gujarat
Government over the encounter saying it can`t justify the
killings using the "shield" of central intelligence inputs.

"If a state government acts as though intelligence inputs
are evidence or conclusive proof, I am sorry for that state
government... Certainly no one suggested that based on an
intelligence input you should kill someone, Chidambaram
had said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 23:40

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