Missing Ishrat files: govt sets up probe panel

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 14, 2016

Home Ministry official BK Prasad to investigate disappearance of letters, affidavit

A one-man inquiry committee will probe the issue of missing files related to the Ishrat Jahan case, the Centre said on Monday.

BK Prasad, Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry, will investigate how the files, pertaining to the alleged fake encounter in Gujarat in 2004 that claimed Jahan’s life, went missing.

The panel will find out the person responsible for keeping the files and relevant issues, a Home Ministry official said.

The papers, which went missing from the Home Ministry, include the copy of an affidavit vetted by the Attorney General and submitted in the Gujarat High Court in 2009, and also the draft of the second affidavit, on which changes were made.

Two letters written by then Home Secretary GK Pillai to the then Attorney General late GE Vahanvati, and the copy of the draft affidavit, have so far been untraceable.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had disclosed in Parliament on March 10 that the files were missing.

The first affidavit was filed on the basis of inputs from Maharashtra and Gujarat Police as also the Intelligence Bureau, where it was said that the 19-year-old girl from the outskirts of Mumbai was a Lashkar-e-Taiba activist, a claim that was was ignored in the second affidavit, Home Ministry officials said.

The second affidavit, claimed to have been drafted by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram, said there was no conclusive evidence to prove that Ishrat was a terrorist, officials said.

Former Union Home Secretary GK Pillai had claimed that as Home Minister, Chidambaram had recalled the file a month after the original affidavit, which described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives, was filed in the court.

Subsequently, Chidambaram had said that Pillai was equally responsible for the change in affidavit.

Ishrat, Javed Sheikh 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.

The city crime branch had then said those killed in the encounters were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Published on March 14, 2016
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