Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday asked the government to clarify on Ishrat Jahan’s alleged terror links — a demand that has been vetted by the BJP, which is trying to corner the government over the change in the home ministry’s affidavit on their antecedents.
Shortly after meeting home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, the Congress leader said different agencies — NIA, IB and CBI — were speaking in different voices and “there should be clarity on what these government agencies are saying”.
Singh’s reference was to IB officials citing a Federal Bureau of Investigation letter, which quoted terrorist David Headley describing Ishrat Jahan to the FBI as a “female suicide bomber” of the LeT.
Shinde said he would verify reports about Headley's disclosure.
"Digvijay Singh has met me. Let me look into the matter raised by him. Let me speak to the agencies concerned," the home minister said.
The Headley link has been used to contradict claims that Ishrat Jahan may have been close to Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh - one of the other three killed in the alleged fake encounter of June 2004 - but wasn't a terrorist.
By evening, the BJP too echoed Digvijay Singh's demand for a clarification from the home ministry on Ishrat's antecedents and wondered why the Home Ministry had changed its position in the court.
"Digvijay Singh has raised some very important questions and… asked the Home Ministry to clarify. BJP underlines that this clarification is very much needed," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The BJP also tried to draw the PMO in the ongoing political slugfest, saying the PMO should break its silence on the issue.
Sitharaman also asked the home ministry to clarify why it changed its original 2007 affidavit - that branded Ishrat Jahan as a Lashkar terrorist -- in 2009. "What were the reasons and at whose instructions this was done," she said.