Ishrat Jahan's kin questions veracity of David Headley's testimony
Mumbai: The family and the lawyer of Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat, on Thursday raised questions over David Coleman Headley’s testimony that she was an LeT operative, saying this was for the “political benefit of some big people” whose names have been “besmirched.”
Her family members also questioned the veracity of Headley’s claims. “Attempts were made to link Ishrat’s name with terror from Headley’s testimony,” her uncle Rauf Lala said.
Ishrat’s sister Musarrat also expressed surprise over the claim by Headley, saying investigations had proved she was killed in a “fake encounter”.
She said, “It has been proved in the investigations that it was a fake encounter. We are not saying this, it has been proved by Indian investigators that my sister Ishrat was innocent. She was killed.”
Musarrat then added: “Many big people are involved in it. Headley is saying all this (as) they will benefit politically out of it. I don’t understand that despite investigations, which proved she was innocent, why the judgment in the case is taking so long. He himself (Headley) is a terrorist, and is in jail in the US. How does his statement count?”
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Pakistan has been “exposed” after Headley’s revelations, but made it clear that India wants to maintain cordial ties with that country. “Headley deposition has exposed Pakistan but we still want to maintain cordial relationship with Pakistan', he said.
Seizing on Headley’s claim on Ishrat, Shiv Sena said all those who had supported her should now be booked and action taken against them. “Headley has only repeated what he had first said in Chicago. At that time, some people made her (Ishrat) a ‘Jhansi ki rani’ and considered her a martyr. At that time we had said that these people will fall flat on their faces and the same thing has happened,” Sena MP Sanjay Raut said.
Ishrat Jahan: A second year Bachelor of Science student at Mumbai's Guru Nanak Khalsa College, the 19-year-old used to work as the secretary of Javed Sheikh (Pranesh).
Pranesh Pillai: Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Gulam Sheikh was the son of Gopinatha Pillai, a native of Noornad in Kerala. Before his death, he was booked for four assault cases in Mumbai and Pune, and had also been charged with involvement in a fake currency racket. Gujarat Police recovered two passports from Javed: one obtained using his original name Pranesh and the second one in his new name.
Amjad Ali Rana: Amjad Ali Rana, also known as Akbar or Salim, was originally a resident of the Haveli Deewan village in the Bhalwal tehsil of Pakistan. According to the CBI chargesheet, he told the Gujarat Police that he was planning to commit a terrorist act in Ahmedabad.
Zeeshan: Zeeshan (alias Jisan Johar alias Abdul Ghani), along with Amjad, is said to have been caught in a trespassing case in Srinagar in 2003.
It was CBI vs IB: In a supplementary chargesheet filed in Feb. 2014, the CBI slapped murder and conspiracy charges against Rajendra Kumar, ex-special director of the Intelligence Bureau and three other IB officers over its probe into the case.
And in June 2015, the Centre rejected CBI’s plea to prosecute them, virtually closing the case.