National

‘Ishrat files removed knowingly or unknowingly’

The one-man inquiry panel, however, makes no reference to Mr. Chidambaram or anyone in the then UPA government.

The one-man panel probing the case of missing documents in the Ishrat Jahan case said that the papers were “removed knowingly or unknowingly, or misplaced” in September 2009, when Congress leader P. Chidambaram was the Home Minister.

The probe, carried out by Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry B.K. Prasad, did not name Mr. Chidambaram or recommend punitive action against anyone.

The papers, Mr. Prasad said, went missing when they were sent from the then Home Minister’s office to the then joint secretary D. Diptivilasa’s office in 2009.

Based on the statements of 11 serving and retired officers, including the then Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, the 52-page report said the documents went missing between September 18-28, 2009.

The second affidavit, which was different from the first one, and filed before Gujarat High Court on September 29, 2009, said there was no conclusive evidence to suggest that Ishrat was a LeT operative.

The papers which went missing are the office copy of the letter and enclosure sent by the then Home Secretary to the Attorney General (AG) on September 18, 2009; the office copy of another letter sent five days later, the draft further affidavit vetted by the AG; the draft further affidavit amended by the then Home Minister on September 24, 2009, and the office copy of the further affidavit filed with the Gujarat High Court five days later. The first item was later retrieved from a computer hard disk.

Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in the encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

The Gujarat Police had then said they were LeT terrorists on a mission to kill Narendra Modi.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 3:57:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/%E2%80%98Ishrat-files-removed-knowingly-or-unknowingly%E2%80%99/article14424165.ece

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