Alleging the Centre's conduct in the matter of encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan was "scandalous," BJP on Tuesday asked the government to spell out its stand on the issue in the wake of reports that Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley had revealed that she was a Lashkar-e-Toiba operative.
"This important disclosure (by Headley), appearing in the national media, makes it incumbent on the central government to admit or deny the existence of this position," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Jahan was killed in an encounter with Gujarat police in Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004, along with one Javed and two Pakistanis. Headley reportedly told National Investigative Agency (NIA) personnel about Jahan during his interrogation.
"The conduct of the union government in the matter of the encounter relating to Ishrat Jahan has been scandalous," Prasad alleged.
The party maintained that not only Headley's revelation but other factors also make it clear that Jahan was a "fidayeen" (suicide bomber) and the encounter was not fake.
"A few days after the killing of Ishrat Jahan, the official website of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the parent body of LeT, claimed Ishrat was a close associate of the outfit who laid down her life for the cause of Jihadi activity," Prasad said.
He said the central government had admitted, during a hearing on a writ petition of Jahan's mother before Gujarat High Court, that she had close links with LeT.
"When the same matter came up before the Supreme Court in a Special Leave Petition arising out of the order of the Gujarat High Court staying the proceedings against the order of the metropolitan magistrate, the union government, obviously on account of vote bank considerations, filed a fresh affidavit," Prasad said.