Ishrat Jahan case: Involvement of Chidambaram, other senior Congress leaders should be probed, demands BJP
The BJP on Tuesday slammed Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram of misusing his office and trying to use the Ishrat Jehan case to frame Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday slammed Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram of misusing his office and trying to use the Ishrat Jehan case to frame Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
The BJP took on the Congress after former under secretary, internal security, RVS Mani, came forward and revealed certain details about the Ishrat Jehan case on a TV channel.
Reacting to the revelations, BJP accused Chidambaram of behaving in an irresponsible manner and using his office to settle political scores.
Addressing the press today in the evening at the BJP headquarters Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology said, "On behalf of the BJP, we demand from the government that a fair probe be done in this whole flip-flop. I ask as to why the affidavit was changed, for what purpose it was changed and who was pressurizing whom?"
He also said that perhaps Chidambaram was not acting on his own.
"Chidambaram was not doing it on his own. He was following order of Congress party's top high command," Prasad said.
"The former home minister must be probed but also other top Congress leaders must be probed. Did Congress party because of their political enmity compromise with the security of the nation? I am talking on behalf of my party," he said.
"Were you questioning NIA, IB and RAW just to lay a trap for Narendra Modi and Amit Shah?" he asked Chidambaram.
"There was a consistent campaign that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah must be framed," the BJP leader pointed out.
Mani told Times Now in an interview today that he did not draft the second affidavit.
"Was ordered to sign file, so did it. Was told it was order of government," he told the news channel.
Mani added, "If I am ordered to do something I have to go and do it, I cannot refuse. I cannot say what the need for the affidavit was, you will have to ask people who ordered it."
The former under secretary also said, "I believe in Intelligence Bureau inputs. No reason not to believe IB inputs."
At the same time Mani revealed, "SIT chief was engineering evidence. So many officers, people chased me. In June 2013, I was burnt with cigarettes."
"CBI said IB input is not believable. I refused to back what CBI said," he said.
The revelations by Mani has come after former home secretary GK Pillai accused Chidambaram of changing the second affidavit in the Ishrat case.
Pillai had claimed that as home minister during UPA government, Chidambaram had recalled the file a month after the original affidavit, which described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives, was filed in Supreme Court.
"Only after the affidavit was revised, as directed by the minister, did the file come to me," Pillai is quoted as saying by a media report.
The then UPA government had submitted two affidavits - one that the four, who were killed in an alleged fake encounter, were terrorists and the second saying there was no conclusive evidence - within two months in 2009.
Chidambaram had yesterday said the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case was "absolutely correct" and as minister then "I accept the responsibility".
Chidambaram had also expressed disappointment over Pillai distancing himself from the affidavit issue despite being "equally responsible".
"Which part of the second affidavit is wrong? I accept the responsibility for this affidavit. It is disappointing that the home secretary, who is equally responsible, wants to distance himself from that," Chidambaram had said at a press conference.
"It was brought to my notice that the first affidavit was filed without my approval and it was being misinterpreted. It was my duty to correct the first affidavit. So we filed a supplementary affidavit after consulting the home secretary, the director of Intelligence Bureau and other officers," he added.
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 that those killed in the encounters were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
(With Agency inputs)