Govt creaking fake issue in Ishrat case: Chidambaram

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Former Finance Minister  P Chidambaram. Photo-PTI

File photo of Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Congress party is seeking to corner the ruling BJP over recent newspaper reports on Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. A leading national daily on Thursday carried a news report that chief of the panel probing missing papers in the case, BK Prasad, who is also serving as Additional Secretary in Union Home ministry, “tutored” a witness the answers he should give to the questions asked by him.

Seizing an opportunity, senior Congress leader and former Union Home minister P Chidambaram has now accused the Modi government of creating a “fake controversy” over two affidavits filed in the Ishrat Jahan case and preparing a “doctored” report on the missing files.

“The moral of the story is that even a doctored report (of the Inquiry Officer) cannot hide the truth. The real issue is whether Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in a genuine encounter or a fake encounter. Only the trial of the case, pending since July 2013, will bring out the truth,” he said.

Referring to news reports published in the morning, Chidambaram added that it “comprehensively exposed the fake controversy” created by the NDA government on the two affidavits filed by the central government in the case.

File photo of Ishrat Jehan (PTI)

File photo of Ishrat Jehan (PTI)

BK Prasad led one-man inquiry committee submitted its report on Wednesday where it said that four of the five missing documents continues to be untraceable. The panel said that as per the then Joint Secretary, the papers were part of the file which went to his seniors but not found when the file returned to him.

Reacting further to the news reports, Chidambaram said it completely vindicated the position that he had taken on the two affidavits.

“The first affidavit was misinterpreted and misused to defend the encounter. It was, therefore, necessary to clarify the first affidavit,” Chidambaram stated.

The first affidavit (August 6, 2009) disclosed the “intelligence inputs” that had been shared by the central government with the state government. Chidambaram said Judge SP Tamang in his Report (September 7, 2009) found that Ishrat Jahan and three others had been killed in a “fake encounter”.

“A ‘further affidavit’ was filed on September 29, 2009 clarifying that intelligence inputs ‘do not constitute conclusive proof and it is for the state government and the state police to act on such inputs’,” the former Union Home minister said.

The principal opposition party has already dismissed the findings of an inquiry panel that files relating to Ishrat Jahan case went missing in September 2009 when party leader P Chidambaram was the Home Minister.

“I do not think that is correct. I do not think any important file could go missing when Chidambaram was the Home Minister. He was a very hands-on minister,” senior spokesman Ajay Maken had told the reporters.

(With inputs from the PTI)