The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said the centre had endorsed the Gujarat government's stance that Mumbai collegian Ishrat Jahan and three others killed in a 2004 Ahmedabad shootout were terrorists. It insisted that a magistrate's probe report that the Gujarat police shot them in cold blood was not final.
"The central government one month back accepted that Ishrat was a terrorist....(the) Government of India and ministry of home affairs came out clearly to say that they (Ishrat and three friends) were part of the conspiracy," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi.
Insisting that the shootout was not fake, he said it was "correct" and a "legally required encounter."
Earlier, the Gujarat government, citing a union home ministry affidavit of last month, claimed that the four had links with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and were tasked to organise terror attacks in India, including in Gujarat and Maharashtra, besides targeting national and state leaders.
On June 15, 2004, Ishrat from Mumbra in Thane district and her three friends - Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani - were shot dead by Ahmedabad Police's Crime Branch (Detection) on the outskirts of the city.
However, Ahmedabad's metropolitan magistrate SP Tamang's inquiry report released Monday asserted there was no shootout between the four youngsters and the police. The report added that the four students were kidnapped from Mumbai June 12, 2004, and killed in cold blood two days later, victims of extra-judicial killing by law enforcers.
Refusing to comment on the magistrate's probe report, Prasad said the report "was not final."
Hinting at a political conspiracy, Prasad said, "Some people have problem with (Narendra) Modi's (Gujarat chief minister) name because he has done development work. But the democratic results of Gujarat are well known."