A government official, who signed the second affidavit on 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case in the Gujarat High Court, has said he was coerced into filing the papers that found no conclusive evidence on Jahan’s terror links.
In an interview telecast on Tuesday, RVS Mani, who was an under-secretary in the ministry of home affairs, said he didn’t draft the second affidavit that contradicted the first one linking Jahan to terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Mani also alleged then SIT chief Satish Verma, who was assisting the CBI in the probe, burnt him with cigarettes. Mani’s decision to go public came as a surprise to many as he is still in service as deputy secretary in the ministry of textiles.
This is not the first time Mani has levelled allegations of torture and harassment against CBI and Satish Verma, a Gujarat cadre IPS officer. On July 10, 2013, HT had reported about his allegations.
Tuesday’s telecast of his interview on Times Now came days after former home secretary GK Pillai said the decision on the content of the second affidavit was taken at the political level.
The BJP was quick to demand a probe to find out if former home minister P Chidambram was acting on Congress leadership’s direction to implicate then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi “who had emerged as a threat to the Congress” ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The Congress dismissed charge of vendetta.
Mani told Times Now that he drafted the first affidavit – which spoke of Ishrat’s LeT links – under guidance from seniors and information available on files was coherently put in a sequence. It was sent to the law secretary for vetting.
Mani said second affidavit was not drafted at his level and his two immediate seniors also didn’t draft it. “Somebody said you go and file it that is the order of the government, so I went and signed it,” he said.