Government steps up attack on Congress in Ishrat Jahan case

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The government on Monday stepped up its attack on the Congress in the high-profile Ishrat Jahan case and accused former union home minister P. Chidambaram of “trying to divert attention from a serious issue like national security and terrorism”.

“A compromised national security is too serious an issue. It cannot be diverted,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters here.

The minister’s reaction come within hours of Chidambaram’s tweets saying: “The affidavit controversy is only (an attempt) to divert attention from the real issue in the Ishrat Jahan case.”

“The real issue is whether there was a fake encounter and whether four people already in custody were killed in that FAKE ENCOUNTER,” Chidambaram wrote on the microblogging site.

“Coming to the affidavits, the home minister does not sign affidavits. It is signed by an undersecretary,” Chidambaram tweeted.

Rijiju said the senior Congress leader was only making a “delirious attempt” through such statements to divert attention and to defend himself as an undersecretary or a designated official signs an affidavit “only after the minister approves”.

Earlier in the day, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kirit Somaiya raised the issue in the Lok Sabha and accused the then Congress government at the Centre of playing with national security in its attempt to project Ishrat a martyr.

Under attack in both the houses on the Uttarakhand issue, the government is trying to use the Ishrat case to take the battle to the opposition camp.

Four people, including Ishrat Jahan, were killed in an alleged fake shootout on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in Gujarat in 2004.

The Gujarat Police had claimed that those killed were Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists on a mission to eliminate the then chief minister Narendra Modi.



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