Ishrat Jahan Case - Story Until Now

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Ishrat Jahan Case is an ongoing criminal case in Gujarat. CBI had initially accused Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch of staging an encounter on 15th of June 2004 wherein four people were killed.

Those killed in the incident were Ishrat Jahan Raza, a 19-year-old woman from Mumbra, Maharashtra; and three men - Javed Ghulam Sheikh (born Pranesh Pillai) was the son of Gopinatha Pillai, a native of Noornad in Kerala and had been previously charged in fake currency racket; Amjad Ali Rana also known as Amjadali Akbarali Rana, Akbar or Salim, was from Haveli Deewan (Haveli Diwan) village in the Bhalwal Tehsil of Pakistan; and Zeeshan Johar also known as Abdul Ghani or Janbaaz, belonged to Gujranwala in Pakistan.

p chidambaram

Claim of Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch:

Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch had claimed that Ishrat Jahan and her three accomplices were Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives involved in a plot to assassinate the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi.

Accused officers:

The police officers accused in the case were:

The Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay G. Vanzara; and

Assistant Commissioner of the Police Crime Branch Girish Laxman Singhal

The SIB officers accused in the case were:

Special Director Rajinder Kumar;

Assistant Director M. K. Sinha;

Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajeev Wankhede; and

Officer T. Mittal.

How the case has progressed since June 2004:

2004:

The Lahore-based Ghazwa Times, mouthpiece of the Lashkar-e-Taiba" had acknowledged Ishrat Jahan as a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative. The Ghazwa Times had published an article on the "Jamat-ul-Dawa" website stating that, "The veil of Ishrat Jahan, a woman activist of LeT, was removed by Indian police and her body was kept with other mujahideens (terrorists) on the ground".

The mouthpiece had also added that, "Ishrat was with her husband, sitting on the front seat of the car".

2007:

On 2nd May 2007 global terror group LeT had apologised on the website, "for causing them problems due to an inadvertent mistake", with the article implying that mistake in question was the claim that "Ishrat Jehan Reza had been a Lashkar operative".

This was subsequently used by the Government of India in its 2009 affidavit as evidence of Ishrat Jahan's links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Mumbai police on investigation found no evidence against Ishrat Jahan to implicate her and there was no criminal background against her. As Ishrat Jahan's family also insisted that she was innocent a probe into the encounter was ordered.

S P Tamang Report:

The Metropolitan Magistrate S. P. Tamang submitted a report in the metropolitan court Ahmedabad on the 7th of September 2009. The report mentioned that the four people were killed in police custody.

The report implicated a number of top police officials for the deaths of the four people and it was alleged that these officers staged the encounter in order to win promotions and rewards.

The state government challenged the report saying the implicated police officers were not allowed to present their arguments and evidences.

Meanwhile, news reports that David Headley (LeT terrorist involved in 2008 Mumbai terror attack) was acknowledging that Ishrat Jahan was LeT operative were published and later these reports were also countered.

2013:

In 2013, media reported that indeed David Headley had told NIA that Ishrat Jahan was an LeT operative. Also media reports were published that the chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), had told the Prime Minister's Office and the Home Minister that the IB had "enough evidence" to prove that Ishrat Jahan belonged to an LeT module, the module had planned to kill the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani.

2014:

CBI reported that it did not have enough evidence to prosecute BJP leader Amit Shah in Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

2016:

In February 2016, former Intelligence Bureau Special Director Rajinder Kumar, said that he was pressured and offered "allurements" to implicate the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the Ishrat Jahan case in an attempt to defame Modi.

He also said that there was a conspiracy against Modi led by a senior Congress leader from Gujarat and that the entire conspiracy was hatched by a Gujarat based Congress leader.

Latest developments:

As per a TV news channel it obtained some files through a Right to Information query regarding Ishrat Jahan case and as per the files obtained the former home minister P Chidambaram had cleared an affidavit in 2009 which described college student Ishrat Jahan as a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist involved in a plot to assassinate then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

As per the TV news channel about a month later, a second affidavit was filed in court in which all references to Ishrat's alleged terror links were missing.

In defence of the changes, Mr. Chidambaram had said that he had made the changes in the second affidavit as it was his duty to correct the first affidavit which was drafted without his approval.

As per the files accessed by the TV news channel it shows that Mr. Chidambaram had cleared both affidavits.

BJP on top after recent revelations:

This new development has left Mr. Chidambaram and Congress party seek cover. BJP meanwhile has come out in full force to accuse the Congress party of underplaying "a terror plot" against the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi because the party was "mortified" of fighting him politically.

BJP is also targeting Congress party for pitching national security agencies against each other and for political gain compromising on national security.

Congress meanwhile said that BJP was planting news stories to dilute the main issue and which is that Ishrat Jahan was killed in a fake encounter.

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