Former Union Minister P Chidambaram said the controversy around the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case ‘is only to divert attention from the real issue.’
“Real issue is whether there was fake encounter & whether FOUR people already in custody were KILLED in that FAKE ENCOUNTER,” Chidambaram wrote on Twitter.
The minister’s remarks come a day after a slew of top Congress leaders came together to rake the contents of the CBI’s 2013 chargesheet in the case. The party claimed the testimony of a Gujarat police officer in it showed that the encounter killings had the prior approval of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
The controversy around the second affidavit in the case generated heat after Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Lok Sabha in March that documents related to the preparation of the second affidavit are missing and that an internal inquiry has been ordered into the case.
The BJP has turned the heat on Congress president Sonia Gandhi alleging that she asked Chidambaram to file a second affidavit in the case as UPA ‘could tolerate terrorists but not Narendra Modi as prime minister.”
At a press conference on February 29, Chidambaram had said the first affidavit was filed without his approval.
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“As minister, when it was brought to my notice that the first affidavit was ambiguous — which was filed without my approval — and it was being misinterpreted, it was my duty to correct the first affidavit. So we filed a supplementary affidavit after consulting the home secretary, the director of Intelligence Bureau and other officers,” he had said.
Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old from Mumbra and three others were killed in an alleged fake encounter on June 15, 2004 outside of Ahmedabad. The Gujarat police had claimed that Ishrat and her associates were involved in a plot to assassinate then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. The CBI is currently conducting investigations into the case.