Congress president Sonia Gandhi defends Chidambaram

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday defended former union home minister P. Chidambaram, saying the party sticks by its stand on Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2004.

“The former home minister and party leader P. Chidambaram has already clarified the decision taken by the then UPA government,” said Gandhi.

Asked that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was targeting the Congress leadership over the matter, she replied her party was being always attacked.

Former home secretary G.K. Pillai in a recent TV interview alleged that the then home minister P. Chidambaram bypassed him and rewrote the affidavit submitted to the Gujarat High Court on the alleged gunfight of Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old Mumbra student, and three others on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in 2004.

TV reports had quoted Pillai as saying that the affidavit in Ishrat Jahan case was changed at political level.

In August 2009, the home ministry under Chidambaram submitted an affidavit in the Gujarat High Court that referred to Ishrat Jahan’s alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba links.

In the second affidavit filed in September 2009, however, references to Ishrat Jahan’s alleged terror links were absent.

In a recent video-conference deposition before a Special court in Mumbai, Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley from the US jail said he had heard of Ishrat Jahan being a suicide bomber of LeT.

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