Trying to find out whether Ishrat was a terrorist: Shinde

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde accepted that divergence of opinion exists between Intelligence Bureau and the CBI probing Ishrat Jahan case.

New Delhi: Amid a raging controversy over the killing of Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan by Gujarat police in an alleged fake encounter, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday said he was trying to find out if she was a terrorist.

"Wo to main malumat le raha hoon abhi (I am trying to get the information)," Shinde told reporters when asked whether or not the 19-year-old girl killed was a terrorist.

The Home Minister, however, accepted that divergence of opinion exists between Intelligence Bureau (IB), which coordinated with the Gujarat police, and the CBI probing the incident over the issue.

"I know there has been difference of opinion but we will get all the information," Shinde said.

The Home Minister denied he had received any letter from IB director Asif Ibrahim lodging protests against CBI investigation suggesting involvement of one of the agency`s Special Directors--Rajinder Kumar.

"Why (would) the IB chief write to me? He would come and speak to me. He has not written anything to me on this line," he said.

Ishrat and her friend Javed Shaikh, alias Pranesh Pillai and two Pakistani nationals Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, were killed near Ahmedabad by a team of Gujarat Crime Branch officials on June 15, 2004 after being illegally confined to police custody for nearly ten days.

The probe was later handed over to CBI on the direction of the Gujarat High Court. CBI in its charge sheet filed earlier this month had said the encounter was fake and named seven Gujarat police officials in the act.

Asked about the allegation that any investigating or intelligence agency was being targeted in the case, Shinde said, "If an agency is involved, an inquiry is going on. A decision will be taken on the basis of the inquiry".

"I have told categorically...Culprits must be punished," the Home Minister added.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh had recently met Shinde and asked him to clarify whether Ishrat had any link with Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba.