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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Ishrat case: BJP demands govt clarification on 'terror link' issue

PTI  New Delhi, July 05, 2013
First Published: 20:06 IST(5/7/2013) | Last Updated: 21:05 IST(5/7/2013)

The political slugfest on Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case on Friday saw the BJP supporting Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's demand that the home ministry come clean on the issue of her alleged terror links as agencies like IB, CBI and NIA have differences over it.

"Digvijaya Singh has raised some very important questions and said CBI, IB and NIA are speaking in different voices on the Ishrat Jahan encounter in reference to what LeT operative David Headley said or did not say. He has asked the home ministry to clarify. BJP underlines that this clarification is very much needed," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The BJP, which for once was on the same page as Singh, asked the Prime Minister's Office to break its silence on the issue.

The Opposition party said Singh has spoken on several controversial issues and even said there are twin power centres in the Congress and how this formula has not worked. Singh had also visited the houses of the terrorists in Azamgarh.

Seeking further clarifications from the home ministry, Sitharaman said it should be made clear why there was a need to change the 2007 affidavit in 2009, what were the reasons and at whose instructions this was done.

"The CBI charge sheet in the Ishrat Jahan case raises more eyebrows. Is it based on the inputs given to CBI by the home ministry or based on evidence collected by the agency? Is CBI collecting evidence and filing the charge sheet on its basis or on inputs from the home ministry?" Sitharaman said.

The party said as per the rules, the information collected by IB is passed on to the concerned state and also shared with the PMO.

"IB must have briefed PMO on the Ishrat case. If the PMO was briefed what is its view on the issue? Its silence does not help," Sitharaman said.

Digvijaya Singh, who met home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, told reporters on Friday that he has asked the ministry to clarify whether 26/11 terror attack accused David Headley had said that Ishrat, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat nine years ago, had terror links.

Sitharaman pointed out that senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had stated earlier that there is a trust deficit between the national security agencies.

The BJP spokesperson alleged that Congress is misusing CBI to hit out at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and then state home minister Amit Shah.

"Is there a political dimension to this case?" she asked.

Alleging that CBI does not invoke any confidence any more and has become "Congress Bureau of Investigation", Sitharaman said, "Who is innocent and who is not is not for the Congress to decide. The courts should decide that."    

The BJP also asked the Home Ministry to come clear on whether a paragraph in the NIA report on LeT operative David Headley's confession was removed. There are reports that Headley had said Ishrat Jahan was a LeT operative and this confession has been deleted from the NIA document.

"What prompted this change? What was the para which was removed?" Sitharaman said.

The main opposition sought to know about Headley's confession to NIA. "Was she a fidayeen or not? Did he say it or not?" Sitharaman said.


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