Ex-Home Min Shinde says no Ishrat file came to him
Amid the row over the Ishrat Jahan case, former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday said he had no knowledge of the issue as no file came to him.
“I have no idea about this. The Ishrat Jahan case file never came to me,” Shinde said.
“All claims, including those by the ex-NIA official, are baseless,” Shinde said, when asked about remarks of former National Investigation Agency (NIA) official Loknath Behera.
“Nobody came to me and I did not speak to anybody about this case,” Shinde said. He was the Home Minister from July 2012 till May 2014 in the UPA-II government.
Shinde’s comments came in the backdrop of allegations that the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government tried to manipulate LeT operative David Coleman Headley’s testimony on Ishrat Jehan’s alleged terror links.
Behera, an IPS officer of Kerala cadre, was part of the NIA team that travelled to the US in 2010 to question Headley. He has said that he “did not remember exactly what Headley had spoken about Ishrat”. But when he recently heard about his video deposition before the Mumbai court, he could recall “the same things” Headley had told to an NIA team in 2010.
Ishrat (19), Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an alleged fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The Gujarat police had then claimed that the four, with links to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), had come to the city to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
While testifying recently before a Mumbai court in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Headley had said that Ishrat was an LeT operative.