New Delhi, Feb 12: The deposition by David Headley regarding Ishrat Jahan has already blown into a political debate. While politicians will grab television space to debate this issue, what one also needs to look into is what difference does this make the original case relating to the encounter?
Ishrat Jahan and others were killed in a police encounter at Gujarat after there was a tip off by the Intelligence Bureau that they were suicide bombers of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. This was disputed by several persons and allegations that the police had targeted an innocent girl in a fake encounter began doing the rounds.
The case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Will David Headley testifying that Ishrat Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative make a difference to the case? It may not make much of a difference because the brief of the CBI is to probe whether the encounter was fake or not.
Will Headley's deposition make a difference to the case?
The Central Bureau of Investigation which took over the case had filed a chargesheet against seven police officers. The CBI had also sought sanction of the Ministry of Home Affairs to prosecute Rajinder Kumar, a top Intelligence Bureau officer on the ground that he had stage managed this encounter. However permission was denied.
The CBI is only probing whether the encounter was genuine or fake. The question of whether Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist or not is not part of the probe. Hence this testimony by Headley will not make a difference here. However what the Headley testimony would do is clear the officers of the charge that they killed an innocent girl.