11 March, New Delhi
In view of the statement made by 26/11 conspirator David Coleman Headley on Ishrat Jahan, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected the plea seeking to quash the criminal case against the Gujarat policemen who were involved in the case.
In his deposition last month, Headley had claimed that Mumbra resident Ishrat Jahan was a suicide bomber for Pakistan-based terror outfit LeT.
“The operation was about shooting the police at some naka. One woman LeT named Ishrat Jahan was involved. Muzammil Bhatt was the head of our group before Sajid Mir,” he told the court via video conferencing.
In June 2004, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead by the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
The police had alleged that Ishrat and her associates were LeT operatives involved in a plot to assassinate the Narendra Modi who was the chief minister of Gujarat.
After a long investigation, in 2009, an Ahmedabad Metropolitan court ruled that the encounter was staged.
Meanwhile, the Congress Party yesterday downplayed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s criticism of the former UPA regime with regard to the Ishrat Jahan case and said that his so called ‘political statement’ holds no significance.
The Home Minister had earlier in the day accused the Congress-led UPA government of having indulged in a flip-flop on Ishrat Jahan’s links with terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba and said the issue of terrorism shouldn’t be politicised.
Former home secretary G.K. Pillai had earlier alleged that former home minister P. Chidambaram ‘bypassed him’ and rewrote an affidavit submitted to a court on Ishrat Jahan, the 19-year-old student killed in an encounter in 2004.
Referring to the change in the Home Ministry’s affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case that did not refer to her as Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while intervening in the motion of thanks for the President’s address to Parliament told the Rajya Sabha, “In the process you unbarred the entire security apparatus of India because you wanted to fix a political leader. Some day an investigation will take place on how internal security was played with.