In a major embarrassment to the Congress, former home secretary G.K. Pillai claimed that under United Progressive Alliance pressure the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group reference with Ishrat Jahan was deleted from an affidavit filed in the Gujarat high court in 2009 naming her as a terrorist.
Ishrat Jahan Raza, a 19-year-old woman from Mumbra, and three other Lashkar -e-Toiba associates Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in encounter in 2004.
Pillai was serving under then home minister P Chidambaram in 2009 when the government filed two affidavits in as many months in the controversial Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
When asked whether the affidavit was changed under political pressure ,Pillai told that a change in the affidavit was not done at his level. “I would say it was done at the political level.”
Pillai said ” I am not aware of the logic.”
In the first affidavit on August 6, 2009, in the Gujarat high court, the home ministry stated Jahan and her associate Javed Ghulam 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.
Reacting to Pillai’s statement, P Chidambaram told the original affidavit said A, B, C or D were terrorists, but the Intelligence Bureau’s position was that it provides only intelligence.