New Delhi, July 18 : The central government has given a two-month extension to IAS officer B.K. Prasad who probed the Ishrat Jahan “missing files” case in the Union Home Ministry, an official source said here on Monday.
The decision to grant extension was granted at the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the request of the Home Ministry, the source said.
Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi reportedly made a request to the Union Cabinet secretary P.K. Sinha and sought an extension.
Prasad had been in the news recently for allegedly trying to “influence and tutor” a witness – a charge, however denied by the officer.
A report in the Indian Express had claimed last month that Prasad had tutored a witness on what answers he should give during the examination.
Former Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had said the news report “completely vindicates” his position and that the BJP-led government at the centre is only trying to create a controversy.
The Home Ministry reportedly is also not in favour of “replacing” Prasad as that would only delay the findings on circumstances and mysteries around the controversy over the “missing files”.
The Home Ministry had ordered an enquiry by Prasad on March 14.
Since this is a “highly sensitive enquiry” wherein allegations have come in that efforts were made to conceal the terror link of Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an “encounter” in Gujarat in 2004, the government wants that only Prasad (1983 batch IAS officer) probe the matter and submit a detailed and final report.
Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in an “alleged fake encounter” in Gujarat in 2004.
The Congress-led UPA has been under attack by the likes of former Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai that the affidavit on Ishrat was allegedly changed to conceal Ishrat’s “terror links”.
The Gujarat Police had claimed in 2004 that those killed were LeT terrorists and had gone there to assassinate the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.