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What did David Headley say of Ishrat Jahan,MHA asks NIA

LeT commander Lakhvi had reportedly told Headley about a failed terror operation involving Ishrat.

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published: July 6, 2013 5:36:10 am

With senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh putting pressure on the home ministry to clarify what Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Toiba operative David Coleman Headley had said about Ishrat Jahan,the ministry Friday asked the National investigation Agency to provide details of Headley’s statements recorded by the agency after he was caught by US authorities in 2009.

NIA Director General N R Wasan was summoned to the MHA where he is learnt to have submitted a report to Home Secretary Anil Goswami.

Defending its special director Rajinder Kumar,who was questioned by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case,the Intelligence Bureau has cited a FBI report and Headley’s statement. Headley is reported to have told the NIA and FBI that LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi had told him in 2005 about the failed terror operation in India involving Ishrat and the men who were killed with her.

It is also learnt that the NIA has not been able to give conclusive proof regarding Headley’s statement as it claimed this was “hearsay” evidence. The agency has claimed it did not probe this aspect too much as it was nothing but “hearsay”.

It also claimed that Headley was shuttling between Pakistan and the US around the time Ishrat was killed in June 2004. The actual planning of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack,for which NIA has chargesheeted Headley,began in 2005. But the NIA is silent about why it did not include Headley’s reference to Ishrat in its statement.

“We cannot share the details,” Wasan said when asked for details about what Headley had said about Ishrat.

Earlier in the day,Digvijaya Singh met Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and asked the ministry to clarify whether Headley had said that Ishrat had terror links. “NIA is saying something,IB is saying something and CBI is saying something else. There should be clarity on what these government agencies are saying. Media sources should also be investigated. They are spreading panic in the nation,” Singh said.

Singh was backed by the BJP which has accused the government of destroying institutions such as the IB by using the CBI.

“The home ministry has to give a clarification on this issue. While answering Digvijaya’s point it should also clarify what was the need to change the affidavit in 2009. What were the circumstances and sources,under whose instructions it was changed?” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said,referring to the two MHA affidavits of 2009 where the ministry changed its position on identifying Ishrat as a terrorist.

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