Ishrat case: Why the change in home ministry affidavit, asks BJP

New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) The BJP Friday asked the union home ministry to explain the change in its affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan alleged staged shootout case.

The principal opposition party also accused the government of misusing the CBI to target Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and former state minister Amit Shah.

Talking to newspersons here, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman asked whether the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had briefed the prime minister about its inputs in the Ishrat Jahan staged shootout case.

BJP leaders said that while the first affidavit from the union home ministry to the Gujarat High Court said that there was reliable information with the central government that the Lashkar-e-Taiba was plotting the assassination of top leaders of Gujarat, the revised affidavit said the information from the Intelligence Bureau was a tip-off, and could not be seen as valid ground for the shootout.

Referring to Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh's remarks about the need for clarity on remarks of central agencies in the encounter case, Sitharaman said the home ministry must clarify its position.

"We cannot have the home ministry remaining silent. It should tell us what was the need to change the affidavit between 2007 and 2009. On whose instructions was it changed," she said.

Sitharaman said the CBI charge sheet in the Ishrat Jahan case, filed Wednesday, have raised a lot of questions.

"Is the CBI charge sheet based on inputs from the home ministry, or is it based on evidence?" she asked.

The BJP spokesperson said the IB informs the prime minister about matters concerning the states, and asked if the agency also informed the prime minister of the Ishrat Jahan case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) charge sheet in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, filed Wednesday, said that Ishrat Jahan and the three men with her were killed in cold blood, in an operation jointly conducted by Gujarat Police and the Intelligence Bureau.

Sitharaman hit out at Digvijaya Singh, stating that he had spoken about a twin power-sharing formula in the Congress at the centre which was not serving the country well. She alleged that the Congress leader also visited the homes of people linked to terrorist activity in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh.

The shootout that killed 19-year-old Mumbai college student Ishrat Jahan and the three men who were with her occurred June 15, 2004, in Ahmedabad.

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