New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Congress on Sunday said the Gujarat Police killed Ishrat Jahan in a staged shootout in 2004 on the orders of the then chief minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader Amit Shah.
The opposition party also said that accusations against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the case were “preposterous and diversionary tactics”, adding that the central government was obstructing trial in the case to protect those accused in the staged gun battle.
“The fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others was ordered by the then chief minister and his then minister of state for home Amit Shah,” the Congress said in a statement here.
Senior party leaders Kapil Sibal told reporters: “The plain and simple intrigue of the central government is to ensure that the most important persons of the BJP/government are not brought to trial.”
“A metropolitan court in Ahmedabad, Special Investigation Team formed by the Gujarat High Court and a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry have affirmed their involvement in this case,” Sibal said asserting that all three dubbed the gun battle as fake.
“It is, therefore, obvious that the present tsunami of misinformation is to save the then chief minister (Modi) and the then MoS (Shah) from having to appear before the sessions court as an accused,” the Congress leader added.
“The CBI filed a charge sheet in 2013 and called it a fake encounter. We are in 2016 and the case hasn’t moved forward at all,” Sibal said, asking “why is this case not proceeding?”
Another senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi asserted: “If this trial goes to court, Modi and Shah may be summoned as accused. This entire campaign of misinformation is based on the version of (Pakistan-American Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman) Headley who has become a paragon of virtue for the BJP.”
“It was the then United Progressive Alliance government that tried and got executed terrorists like Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru. We are proud that unlike our neighbours we give a full trial to those whom we think are terrorists. But, we don’t execute them in fake encounters,” Singhvi added.
There are reports suggesting that files related to the Ishrat Jahan case have gone missing and the home ministry has appointed a one-man inquiry panel on the matter.
Meanwhile, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said the Congress will corner the cental government in the upper house on all important issues, including the Ishrat Jahan and the Uttrakhand cases.
“There are grave accusations against both the present prime minister and the BJP chief. We will raise all important issues in the house and put the government in the dock,” Sharma said.
He said the charges levelled by BJP leaders and union ministers against Sonia Gandhi and the then union home minister P. Chidambaram as preposterous and diversionary tactics to take the focus away from the real issues.
“We challenge the union ministers either to prove their allegations or tender an unconditional apology,” Sharma said.
Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said: “The Congress will unite the opposition on these issues and make the government accountable.”