Come clean on Ishrat issue, Diggy tells Shinde

BJP also demanded clarification from minister

Come clean on Ishrat issue, Diggy tells Shinde

In what could turn out to be an embarrassment for the UPA government, Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Friday met Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, requesting him to clarify whether Ishrat Jahan had any association with the Lashkar-e-Toiba, given the difference of opinion among different government agencies.

Singh’s assertion has given a fillip to the BJP, which has also demanded that the Home Ministry should clarify on Jahan, as the ministry had acknowledged her terror link in an affidavit filed in the Ahmedabad High Court. Later, that portion did not figure, said the BJP.

After meeting Shinde at his North Block office on Thursday, Singh told reporters that he wanted to know from the ministry if 26/11 terror attack case accused David Headley, who is in the US custody, had confessed that Ishrat had terror links.

The Congress leader, who had previously asked uncomfortable questions to P Chidambaram during his stint as the home minister, said the people were confused with the different statements by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on her suspected terror links. 

While the CBI, in its charge sheet filed in an Ahmedabad trial court, did not speak about her background, the IB told the investigators that Headley had told the FBI that LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi’s associate Muzammil had hired Ishrat for targeting VVIPs.

Headley also told the NIA during his interrogation in the US in 2010 about her acquaintance with terror outfits. But, the NIA sources said they did not apprise the court of her terror links because it was hearsay.  

"The NIA is saying something, the IB is saying something and the CBI is saying something else. There should be clarity on what these government agencies are saying. Media sources should also be investigated. They are spreading panic in the nation. This is not good even for the credibility of the agencies or the government," Singh said.

Later, Shinde, who became the home minister last year, stated that he will get reports from the agencies on the status of the girl. “Digvijay Singh met me. Let me look into the matter raised by him. Let me speak to the agencies concerned,” Shinde said. Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the MHA should clarify. "We cannot have the Home Ministry remaining silent. It should tell us what was the need to change the affidavit between 2007 and 2009. On whose instructions was it changed?" she asked.

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