NDA government creating ‘fake controversy’ on Ishrat Jahan affidavits: Chidambaram

New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Former Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday accused the Narendra Modi-led NDA government of creating a “fake controversy” around the affidavits in the Ishrat Jahan case.

Chidambaram, in a statement issued on Thursday, quoted a report from The Indian Express that said a home ministry official probing the missing documents in the Ishrat Jahan case tried to tutor another official in the probe.

According to the report, Union Home Ministry official B.K. Prasad, who was probing the missing documents in the Ishrat Jahan case, tutored another official who was a witness on what will be asked to him in the probe and what his response should be.

“The news report published in the Indian Express today comprehensively exposes the fake controversy created by the NDA government on the two affidavits filed by the Central government in the Ishrat Jahan case,” Chidambaram said in a statement.

The Congress leader said the report “completely vindicates the position that I had taken on the two affidavits”.

“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.

Chidambaram said the first affidavit filed on August 6, 2009 disclosed the “intelligence inputs” that had been shared by the Central government with the State government.

He said the report by Judge Tamang on September 7, 2009 found that Ishrat Jahan and three others had been killed in a fake encounter.

“The report caused an uproar in Gujarat and elsewhere. The first affidavit was misinterpreted and misused to defend the encounter. It was, therefore, necessary to clarify the first affidavit. Hence, a ‘further affidavit’ was filed,” Chidambaram said.

He said this affidavit, filed on September 29, 2009 clarified 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 contents of the ‘further affidavit’ are absolutely clear and correct. It is unfortunate that most people who commented on the matter had not cared to read the ‘further affidavit’,” he said.

Talking about the missing document, which B.K. Prasad was probing, the Congress leader said: “The five “missing” documents completely vindicate the position I had taken. The sequence of events conclusively establish that we had acted in a totally transparent manner”.

He also said that draft of the ‘further affidavit’ was vetted by the Attorney General, the highest law officer of the country, before it was filed.

“The file passed through the hands of the Home Secretary at least three or four times. Ultimately, the ‘further affidavit’ was filed in Court on the orders of the Home Secretary,” he said.

The former union minister also said that he takes “full responsibility” for filing the ‘further affidavit’ which was “absolutely the correct thing to do”.



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