Delhi: In what could escalate war of words between the Congress and the BJP, former under secretary, internal security, RVS Mani, has come forward and revealed certain details about Ishrat Jehan case.
Mani’s revelations have come close on the heels of comments on the controversial case by former home secretary GK Pillai.
Mani told Times Now in an interview on Tuesday that he did not draft the second affidavit.
“Was ordered to sign file, so did it. Was told it was order of government,” he told the news channel.
Mani added, “If I am ordered to do something I have to go and do it, I cannot refuse. I cannot say what the need for the affidavit was, you will have to ask people who ordered it.”
The former under secretary also said, “I believe in Intelligence Bureau inputs. No reason not to believe IB inputs.”
At the same time Mani revealed, “So many officers, people chased me. In June 2013, I was burnt with cigarettes.”
“Satish Verma was the head of the Special Investigation Team who was basically not collecting evidence, he was engineering evidence”, he claimed.
“CBI said IB input is not believable. I refused to back what CBI said,” he said.
The BJP on Tuesday slammed Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram of misusing his office and trying to use the Ishrat case to frame Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
Reacting to the revelations, BJP accused Chidambaram of behaving in an irresponsible manner and using his office to settle political scores.
Addressing the press today in the evening at the BJP headquarters Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology said, “Enough suspicious circumstances have arisen from the statements of the home secretary, confirmed by the then under secretary that the decision was taken by Mr Chidambaram by bypassing them by changing the complete complexion (of the case).”
Addressing the press today in the evening at the BJP headquarters Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology said, “On behalf of the BJP, I ask as to why the affidavit was changed, for what purpose it was changed and who was pressurizing whom?”
He also said that perhaps Chidambaram was not acting on his own.
“Chidambaram was not doing it on his own. He was following order of Congress party’s top high command,” Prasad said.
“The former home minister must be probed but also other top Congress leaders must be probed. Did Congress party because of their political enmity compromise with the security of the nation? Did Congress party compromise with the national security due to its hate for Modi? I am talking on behalf of my party,” he said.
“Were you questioning NIA, IB and RAW just to lay a trap for Narendra Modi and Amit Shah?” he asked Chidambaram.
“There was a consistent campaign against Mr Narendra Modi that he needs to be framed, Amit Shah needs to be framed by hook or by by crook. And the entire government machinery was abused. BJP demands that the government of India investigate this. We are demanding that a fair inquiry be done on the entire flip flop on the Ishrat Jahan case,” he said.
Asked if he wanted a judicial probe, Prasad said “we are not closing that option.”
The revelations by Mani has come after former home secretary GK Pillai accused Chidambaram of changing the second affidavit in the Ishrat case.
Pillai on Sunday had claimed that as home minister during UPA government, Chidambaram had recalled the file a month after the original affidavit, which described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives, was filed in Supreme Court.
“Only after the affidavit was revised, as directed by the minister, did the file come to me,” Pillai is quoted as saying by a media report.
The then UPA government had submitted two affidavits – one that the four, who were killed in an alleged fake encounter, were terrorists and the second saying there was no conclusive evidence – within two months in 2009.
Chidambaram had said yesterday that the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case was “absolutely correct” and as minister then “I accept the responsibility”.
Chidambaram had also expressed disappointment over Pillai distancing himself from the affidavit issue despite being “equally responsible”.
“Which part of the second affidavit is wrong? I accept the responsibility for this affidavit. It is disappointing that the home secretary, who is equally responsible, wants to distance himself from that,” Chidambaram had said at a press conference.
“It was brought to my notice that the first affidavit was filed without my approval and it was being misinterpreted. It was my duty to correct the first affidavit. So we filed a supplementary affidavit after consulting the home secretary, the director of Intelligence Bureau and other officers,” he had added.
Later refuting the Congress leader, Pillai told a news channel that Chidambaram had called a lower functionary in the Intelligence Bureau and totally rewrote the affidavit.
He also said that Chidambaram shouldn’t say that the IB and the home secretary were on board.
Ishrat, 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.
The city crime branch had then said that those killed in the encounters were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
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