BJP targets Chidambaram in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case

BJP targets Chidambaram in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case

The BJP has sought to drag Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, alleging that in his previous stint as home minister, Chidambaram undertook an operation to implicate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his aide Amit Shah.

The exercise, however, ended up accusing three Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers which could hurt future covert operations in the country.

The direct attack on Chidambaram and the Congress comes after the CBI filed a supplementary charge sheet in a Gujarat court against former IB special director Rajender Kumar and two others, but Shah’s name was missing despite being questioned by the probe agency.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley questioned the change of stand taken by the Centre after Chidambaram took over as home minister. In a PIL filed before the Gujarat High Court by Ishrat’s parents, the Centre took a categorical stand that Ishrat was a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative and the alleged encounter on June 15, 2004, was genuine, Jaitley wrote. 

“This was when Shivraj Patil was the home minister. The change in the home ministry led a change in government’s stand. Under P Chidambaram as the new home minister, the ministry in its affidavit decides to wash its hands off from the encounter. It now starts cooperating with the petitioner for probing the entire operation. The political establishment had hoped that it’s other attempts having failed, probing this could be a case for implication of the political leaders of the Gujarat government,” he said.

Later, Jaitley said though the nature of the encounter would be decided by the competent court, the damage done to India’s intelligence agencies and its ability to undertake covert operations was irreparable.  

“The ultimate wise man who was the home minister in 2009 undertook the operation with the idea of implicating Modi and Shah. He has ended up implicating the IB, an agency of the government, which during the tenure of the UPA is being accused of having engineered the fake encounter,” he said.

Stressing that the encounter was genuine, the lawyer-turned-politician said the fact that Ishrat was a part of the LeT was evidenced by Jamaat-ud-Dawa claiming through Lahore-based Ghazwa Times that its activist had been killed. 

Subsequently, David Headley in his interrogation by both the FBI and NIA admitted to this operation. The Legal Attaché of the US Embassy in India has issued a document to the IB in response to its queries further evidencing this fact, he added.

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