इंडियन आवाज़     30 Nov 2023 04:06:50      انڈین آواز

BJP, Congress slugfest over Headley’s claim about Ishrat Jahan

TIA Correspondent /

ishrat encounterPakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley’s claim that Ishrat Jahan, killed in an encounter in 2004, was a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist renewed the political slugfest as BJP and the Congress are attacking each other over the issue.

While the BJP demanded an apology from the Congress for targeting its government in Gujarat for many years over Jahan’s killing in an encounter with security forces, Congress dismissed BJP’s demand insisting that the “fundamental question” was whether she and her accomplices were killed in “fake” encounter.

“If BJP wants to stand with those who have been accused by the CBI in a Gujarat High Court monitored process that they were accused or complicit in the fake encounter,… they can go and stand with them in a Court of Law,” party spokesman Manish Tewari told media perons.

“There is nothing which stops BJP from doing that. We are not a banana Republic, we are a country based on the rule of law and the rule of law does not permit fake encounters,” he said.

He was responding to a question about the BJP attack on Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the wake of Headley’s statement that Ishrat Jahan was an LeT operative.

Tewari said there are two separate and distinct issues which are involved – the first is whether Ishrat Jahan and her accomplices were LeT operatives or not.

Jahan and three others, Javed Shaikh, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, were killed in a June 15, 2004 operation in Gujarat led by deputy inspector general of the state police DG Vanzara who was later jailed in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case.

“The Congress president and vice-president should apologise to the heroes who killed LeT terrorist Ishrat Jahan and her accomplices,” BJP leader Shrikant Sharma said.

The Congress refused to go on the back foot. Party leader Sandeep Dikshit alleged that Lashkar accomplice Headley had named Jahan as a terrorist as part of “a deal”.

“Four or five days before the statement, I heard from a number of people that this is one of the deals that has been done and Headley will take Ishrat Jahan’s name as a terrorist. How is it that many people who don’t even know who David Headley is knew that he would be making this deposition?” Dikshit said.

The BJP pointed out that finance minister Arun Jaitley, then leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, had written to the then PM Manmohan Singh that the Lashkar-e-Taiba hailed Jahan as a martyr.

The Congress, however, argued that Jahan’s murder was a “very clear case of human rights violation” and the Gujarat government or police had not been able to provide any evidence to prove her links with any anti-national activity.

Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley today exposed how ISI and LeT majorly funded terror operations in India and financed him from time to time and that Pakistan native Tahawwur Rana visited Mumbai before the terror strikes. Resuming his deposition before a special Mumbai court today via video-link after a day’s break due to a technical glitch at the US end yesterday, Headley said Mumbra girl Ishrat Jehan was a suicide bomber of LeT.

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