Congress, BJP spat over Ishrat case charge sheet

Congress, BJP spat over Ishrat case charge sheet

A fresh war of words erupted between the ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case in Gujarat against seven police officers.

As the investigation agency stated in the charge sheet that the encounter was “fake”, the Congress used the opportunity to attack the BJP and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying “truth speaks for itself from the rooftop.”

“He (Modi) will also be exposed some time. Truth comes out at one point or the other. Truth speaks for itself from the rooftop. Someday, you will come to know of the real face of the Gujarat Chief Minister," AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry added.

He claimed that it was well known to the people of Gujarat that the encounter was fake. “During a period of three months, when there were talks about removing Modi as Chief Minister, such encounters took place with frequent intervals propping up a theory that there was an attempt to murder Modi. No one comes to kill Modi since some of the police officers went to jail,”he alleged.

The BJP, however, countered the Congress attack, maintaining that the charge sheet "underplayed” the role of LeT and terrorists and "indicted" security agencies, "demoralising" them in the process.

Reminding the government that the Ishrat Jahan encounter took place when the Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said: "The Congress should stop playing politics on terrorist attacks, terrorist encounters because this is an issue concerning the security of the nation.”

She also questioned the CBI investigation, saying: “After protracted investigations, the CBI could not even describe who these people were who were accompanying Ishrat Jahan. Who with their satellite phones were in touch with their terrorist masterminds. It clearly gives a picture that the CBI charge sheet underplays the role of the LeT and certainly indicts the Indian security apparatus.”

The case so far

*  June 15, 2004: Ishrat Jahan and three others were allegedly killed in a police encounter in the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The Ahmedabad Police claimed that they were militants from Lashkar-e-Toiba on a mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
*  September 2009: Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate SP Tamang indicted the policemen calling the encounter fake in his report.
*  September 2010: The Gujarat High Court constituted a SIT to probe into the encounter.
*  December 2010: The three-member SIT began investigation in the case.
* January 28, 2011: SIT member Satish Varma filed an affidavit stating that the encounter was a fake one.
*  November 21, 2011: The SIT concluded that the encounter was fake and the high court ordered that an FIR be lodged charging the policemen with murder.
*  December 12, 2011: Gujarat High Court hands over the probe to the CBI
*  February 21 2013: Senior IPS officer GL Singhal is arrested.
*  April 4 2013: Gujarat police officer N K Amin arrested
* July 3, 2013: CBI files chargesheet at the Special CBI Court in Ahmedabad

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