Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that key documents related to the Ishrat Jahan case have gone missing from his ministry.
“Two letters from the then home secretary to the attorney general in 2009 have gone missing. The then attorney general had vetted two affidavits regarding the case. Those are also not available,” Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha while replying to a brief debate over the alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba woman terrorist who was killed in a police firing on June 15, 2004.
Without naming Congress’s P. Chidambaram, Rajnath Singh alleged that affidavits were corrected on the intervention of the then home minister.
On June 15, 2004, the Gujarat police shot dead three men and a woman – 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan –while they were allegedly on a Lashkar mission to assassinate then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
However, a probe conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a high court-appointed Special Investigation Team found it to be a “fake encounter”.
The first affidavit in the case 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 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 charge sheet, 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”.
Meanwhile, Rajnath also said in Parliament that no politics should be done over terror.
“There should be no politics on terror. Be it the Ishrat Jehan or any other case, no government should do flip-flops. Those who call themselves secular, they tried to give communal colour to terrorism, coined the term saffron terror. This happened for the first time in the world. We will not accept it in any way in the country,” Rajnath added.
(With agencies input)