In February 2004, Indian J&K police had shot dead Ehsan Ilahi, a LeT terrorist. The Information Bureau (IB)-led operation that followed, gathered information about a certain LeT operative Javed Sheikh’s plans and lured him to Ahmedabad where Gujarat police awaited the arrival of his car. The IB used a source to entice Javed and his team to come to India to target Narendra Modi and laid a trap. In an encounter that followed, four members were killed by the Gujarat police. The four members were Javed Sheikh himself (born Pranesh Pillai), Zeeshan Johar, Amjad Ali Rana and a woman Ishrat Jahan.
When this whole episode happened, the central government in power was that of UPA and Shivraj Patil was the Home Minister. At that time, the UPA government took a firm stand that Ishrat was a LeT operative and the encounter was genuine. The government’s stand took a complete U-turn when P Chidambaram became the Home Minister. In all of this, Chidambaram and the Congress saw a golden opportunity to target the Gujarat police and thereby the Modi government by accusing them of getting a 19-year old girl from the minority community killed, even if this meant going against their own IB, siding with the terrorist organization LeT and destroying the security apparatus of India. A 3-member SIT, one of them being the petitioner’s nominee, was formed to interrogate the Gujarat police and this resulted in a lot of arrests. Subsequently, a CBI probe was ordered and desperate attempts were being made to frame the Gujarat political leadership and a lot of officers were pressurized to speak out against the Gujarat government.
Not surprisingly, there was a huge sympathy wave for Ishrat Jahan all over the country from the secular parties, the mainstream media and the human rights activists.
Ishrat was projected as ‘an innocent girl’, who was brutally murdered by the Gujarat police and she had nothing to do with LeT. Teesta Setalwad accused the Modi government of putting the fake encounter plan in place, subverting and perverting the functioning of the police department. The Nitish Kumar led JDU government referred to Ishrat as ‘Bihar’s daughter’ and promised to get ‘justice’ for her. The famous sympathizer of terrorists and Naxalites Vrinda Grower, to this day insists that Ishrat never had any links with any terror group. Samajwadi Party state president Abu Azmi said he would demand a CBI probe into the killings. Needless to say, journalists like Sagarika Ghose went hammer and tongs with their claims of the Modi being anti-minority. All of this was in spite of the LeT publicly acknowledging through their mouthpiece Ghazwa Times that Ishrat Jahan was their operative.
Let us now look at what some of the people who were closely involved with this case have to say. Former IB chief Rajendra Kumar made a revelation that a senior Congress leader, who virtually ruled India during UPA’s tenure, knew everything about Ishrat Jahan, but still used it as an opportunity to target Modi. It is not a difficult guess that he was referring to Ahmed Patel, a close aide of Sonia Gandhi. According to some media outlets in 2010, American born LeT terrorist David Headley had implicated Ishrat Jahan while giving a statement to the NIA, but the NIA claimed these reports to be baseless. However, during his deposition in February this year via video conference, he has confirmed to a special court that Ishrat Jahan was indeed a LeT operative and that the LeT has a women’s wing. Most recently, the former home secretary GK Pillai made a statement that the Congress party intervened in the investigations. Pillai confessed that there was a decision to omit Ishrat’s links with terror outfit LeT in a home ministry affidavit and this decision was taken at a political level. He mentioned that in the first affidavit on August 6, 2009, in the Gujarat high court, the home ministry stated that Ishrat Jahan and Javed Sheikh were LeT members. But in September, the ministry made a U-turn. It said the central government was not concerned with the merits of the action taken by the Gujarat police and anything stated in the (first) affidavit was not intended to support or justify the action of the state police. The contradictory affidavit filed by the home ministry was a decision taken at a political level. He further mentioned that the encounter operation that was planned by the IB and the Gujarat police was a very successful one. He went on to say that the matter was politicized and a CBI probe was not required.
From all of this, it is clear that the Congress can stoop to any level to malign Modi and the BJP. For them, Modi is their biggest enemy and not the terror outfits that are doing everything possible to wreak havoc in India. The real enemy of India and the biggest bottleneck to the progress of India is not Pakistan, but elements within the country and the Congress is certainly right up there.