The Supreme Court on Friday has rejected the plea seeking to quash the criminal case against the Gujarat policemen who were involved in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. The court took the stand in the backdrop of a statement made by 26/11 conspirator David Coleman Headley. In his deposition last month, Headley had claimed that Mumbra resident Ishrat Jahan was a suicide bomber for Pakistan-based terror outfit LeT.
“The operation was about shooting the police at some naka. One woman LeT named Ishrat Jahan was involved. Muzammil Bhatt was the head of our group before Sajid Mir,” Headley told the court via video conferencing.
In June 2004, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead by the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The police had alleged that Ishrat and her associates were LeT operatives involved in a plot to assassinate the Narendra Modi who was the chief minister of Gujarat. In 2009, after a prolonged investigation, an Ahmedabad Metropolitan court ruled that the encounter was staged.
Earlier this month, former home secretary G.K. Pillai had alleged that former home minister P. Chidambaram ‘bypassed him’ and rewrote an affidavit submitted to a court on Ishrat Jahan, the 19-year-old student killed in an encounter in 2004.
Also Home Minister Rajnath Singh had yesterday accused the Congress-led UPA government of having indulged in a flip-flop on Ishrat Jahan’s links with terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba and said the issue of terrorism shouldn’t be politicised. However, the Congress party downplayed the criticism.