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Ishrat case: Congress watched terror plot bloom, says Union Minister
Tuesday April 19, 2016 10:09 AM, IANS

New Delhi: Levelling serious allegations against the Congress over the Ishrat Jahan shootout case, the BJP on Monday said the Congress almost connived to get a political rival eliminated in Gujarat.

"Here is a political rival, the then chief minister of Gujarat, whom the Congress could not face politically. So they quietly saw a terror plot bloom," union minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was the then Gujarat chief minister.

"The then union home minister gave two affidavits in court. They tried to show as if there was no terror plot, as if there was no threat to Modi's life."

She said that since both of the affidavits on a single matter can't be true, the then home minister P. Chidambaram was either trying to "hide some facts or add something not germane to the case" in the submission before the court.

The BJP's outburst came after a TV channel revealed that the first affidavit, which decribed Ishrat Jahan as a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, was indeed signed by Chidambaram, who has been denying signing it.

However, the second affidavit said there was no conclusive evidence to suggest that Ishrat was linked to LeT.

"By politicising the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the Congress has undermined the national security. They have weakened the entire security network," Sitharaman said, adding whether the shootout was real or fake was a secondary matter.

Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jahan and her three alleged associates Pranesh Gopinath Pilai, Amjad Ali and Jishan Johar were killed by Gujarat Police in an allegedly staged shootout on June 15, 2004.

Gujarat Police had described the four as Pakistani-controlled terrorists who came from Jammu and Kashmir to assassinate then chief minister Modi. But the later probe did not find any proof against Ishrat Jahan, and it was found she was killed in a staged encounter.

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