Headley’s statements pack of lies, Ishrat innocent, says family

  • Pratik Salunke, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2016 20:54 IST
In 2004, police shot dead Ishrat – a college student in western Maharashtra’s Mumbra -- and three others, claiming she was on a mission to kill then CM Narendra Modi.

The family of Ishrat Jahan, killed in an alleged staged shooting by Gujarat Police in 2004, called Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Pakistani-American operative David Coleman Headley a liar on Thursday after his testimony that she was a member of the terrorist outfit.

Ishrat’s relatives said she was innocent and firmly believe that “truth will prevail”.

Mother Shamima Kausar dismissed Headley’s statements as a pack of lies. “These are false and without evidence,” she told Hindustan times.

Read more: Ishrat Jahan, killed in ‘fake’ encounter, was LeT operative: Headley

The family has been repeatedly facing fresh revelations and allegations against Ishrat, a 19-year-old college student from Mumbra in Maharashtra who was killed along with three men on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. They were allegedly on a mission to kill then chief minister Narendra Modi.

Ishrat’s family members were unhappy with the way Headley, deposing via video link from a US prison, was made to testify about her.

“Headley never spoke about the encounter during the deposition. (Special public prosecutor Ujjal) Nikam first asked many questions and then gave three names to identify the woman. This is not a reality show but a court proceeding,” Ishrat’s uncle Rauf Lala said.

Headley told Nikam about a “botched-up operation” mentioned to him by LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

Read more: 26/11: Headley naming Ishrat Jahan allows BJP to play victim and hero

The Jahans are determined to continue the fight. “We trust the law and we would continue. People will support truth. He (Headley) is a terrorist and how can we believe him? His deposition won’t affect our case. We will win our battle,” sister Musharat said.

“We have been fighting a legal battle over the past 12 years and we have proved in the court of law that it was a fake encounter. So it doesn’t make any difference to us what someone says.”

The family said they want justice for their daughter. “They are putting words in his (Headley’s) mouth. A mother wants justice but this issue is again and again being made political and communal. We want the truth to come out,” uncle Lala said.

The family demanded that the trial should start soon. “Headley is a double agent and should not be taken seriously. Our trial has been slow and we are waiting for it to start,” the uncle said.

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