New Delhi: What could be a major blow to the Congress party over its handling of the sensational Ishrat Jahan encounter case, ex-home secretary G K Pillai in a startling revelation claimed that the decision to erase the word LeT from her affidavit was taken at a political level and it did not come from his office.
“It was a very successful intelligence operation. That we managed to entice the LeT to send their shooters into India, and that we were able to monitor their activities in India, to catch them..I think it was a very successful operation from the intelligence standpoint,” Pillai told Times Now in an interview.
Asked about the “contradictory” affidavits filled in court with regard to the case, he said: “What really happened was in one of the affidavits there was a mention of LeT operatives, but in the other one, that aspect was deleted.”
Asked why was it deleted?
He said: “I really wouldn't know because that was not done at my level, it was done at a political level. You have to ask at the political level and not me.”
It has been alleged that Gujarat Police and the Intelligence Bureau colluded to stage the “fake encounter”.
“The CBI probe is a court directed investigation. It is perfectly within its jurisdiction to carry on this investigation.
“But where I found fault with the office of the CBI is that during that period there were plenty of off the record briefings.
“And I think when an investigation of this sort includes the IB, I think the officers in the CBI should have exercised extreme discretion.
“If you see the newspapers of that time there were leaks every day. I think they should have kept quite. If I would have been the home secretary I would have called the CBI director and have told him that look this is absolutely unacceptable,” Pillai said.
“CBI should have done it out in a professional manner and ensure that confidentiality is maintained. And not as they say give daily off the record briefings on what is happening.
Asked if Ishrat Jehan was a terrorist?
“I would say that she knew that something was wrong. Otherwise an unmarried Muslim girl would not go with another married person to different places, spend nights out and so on and so forth, which is not the normal pattern at all.
“So perhaps she knew something wrong. She could have been a cover. In fact it was one of the claims that she was actually used because a single person was more likely to be suspicious but if somebody travels as husband and wife then people don't look upon them with suspicion.
“Whether or not they were LeT operatives that is one aspect. The second aspect is whether it was a fake encounter. I have no doubt in one sense that this intelligence operation involved the LeT. So that part of it is separate,” he added.
The former bureaucrat said LeT did put her name on their website as a martyr, which was later withdrawn. "There was no direct evidence, except that LeT put her name on the website. So, I would say may be she was an unwitting player."
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) February 25, 2016