Slain college student Ishrat Jahan’s family on Monday refuted the statement of US-born Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) operative David Headley that she was the terrorist outfit’s suicide bomber.
Headley had reportedly told a National Investigation Agency team in the US that Jahan, who was killed in a police encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004, was a member of the LeT suicide squad.
Family members alleged that the media report on this was an effort to smear their reputation before the Gujarat High Court started hearing on July 14 their plea against the encounter killing.
“These are attempts to put pressure on the family. In spite of these reports, we aren’t scared. Even if there was an ounce of doubt in our minds about Jahan, we wouldn’t have fought the case, but we know she was innocent and we are going to fight the case till the end,” said Jahan’s uncle Abdul Rauf Lala.
In September last year, Ahmedabad magistrate S.P. Tamang said in his report that the Ishrat Jahan encounter was fake.
“Tamang’s report established that she was murdered. This is like justifying the murder through Headley’s statement. How can you believe a criminal like Headley,” Lala asked.
Jahan’s mother, Shamima Kausar, said: “The media report is wrong, we are hurt by it. Our girl was innocent …”
Meanwhile, the BJP in Gujarat on Monday hit out at NGOs and the Congress for “defaming the Modi government on the issue”.
“Some NGOs and the Congress have cast aspersion on the veracity of the Gujarat police claim that Ishrat and others were on a mission to kill Gujarat CM Narendra Modi,” said Gujarat BJP president R.C. Faldu.
NGO Jan Sangharsh Manch and lawyer Mukul Sinha are fighting court cases against all alleged fake encounters.
(With inputs from Ahmedabad)