The convoluted Ishrat Jehan case took a rather dramatic turn after David Headley named her as one of LeT female operatives during his deposition before a Mumbai session’s court recently.
Ishrat Jehan, the 19-year-old college student, was shot in an encounter along with three others, in Gujarat.
Four persons- Ishrat Jehan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar – were killed in an encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
In what was termed as a fake or cold blooded encounter is now being questioned as these new facts come to light.
The city crime branch had then said that those killed in the encounters were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to assassinate the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi.
Rajinder Kumar, who retired as one of India’s top intelligence officers, says new evidence today proves that the CBI’s case accusing him of murdering college student Ishrat Jehan was manufactured by the government of Manmohan Singh to “neutralise a political challenge”.
The political challenge being- Narender Modi and the Bhartiya Janata Party. Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu went on to allege that Congress wanted to “implicate” the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and “harass” present party president Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jehan encounter case, and said the party should “openly regret” its actions.
As the case gained traction, more and more anchors of the BJP government came out in support of the Prime Minister; Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked the Congress, Left and other Opposition parties if they were prepared to apologise to the nation for their “malicious campaign” against Modi over the killing of Ishrat.
Whether or not the Congress did suppress the facts in this case is something that time will prove. However, we feel that they do owe the country an explanation if and why were the facts hidden or suppressed.
Many people have questioned the authenticity of David Headley’s claims. Some have even called them as fabricated stories. It is like a love-hate relationship between the authorities and Headley. When he says something that suits them, he is credible, when he doesn’t, he is not.
These are matters that should be left to the courts to decide what is true and what is not. The evidence should be carefully examined and the law should take its course without sparing anybody, for prince or peasant, all are equal in the eyes of the law.