Faced pressure to not declare Ishrat terrorist, says former home secy
A decision to omit 19- year- old Mumbai resident Ishrat Jahan’s possible links with terror outfit Lashkar- eTaiba (LeT) in a home ministry affidavit was taken at the political level, former home secretary GK Pillai said on Thursday.
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.
In the first affidavit on August 6, 2009 in the Gujarat high court, the home ministry stated Jahan and Javed Ghulam Sheikh — who she was traveling with at the time of the June 2004 encounter — were LeT members. But in September, the ministry made a U-turn. It said the central gov- ernment was not concerned with the merits of the action taken by Gujarat Police and anything stated in the (first) affidavit was not intended to support or justify the action of the state police.
Pillai told news channel Times Now that a change in the affidavit was not done at his level. “I would say it was done at the political level,” said Pillai.