New Delhi: Former Union home secretary G K Pillai on Thursday said Ishrat Jahan was a cover for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) module which was to target then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi before she and her three aides were killed in an encounter in 2004.
The decision to modify home ministry’s affidavit in the encounter case of Ishrat so as to state that there was no conclusive proof of her LeT link was taken at the “political level”, Pillai said.
Times Now quoted Pillai as saying that “something was wrong”. “An unmarried Muslim girl went with a married person, spent nights with him as husband and wife… She was a cover for them.”
Pillai was the home secretary when the original ministry of home affairs (MHA) affidavit that described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives was revised in 2009. P Chidambaram was the then home minister.
Recently, only after American LeT operative David Headley confirmed to a Mumbai court that Ishrat was linked to LeT, former Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Rajendra Kumar, who was probed in the case, had suspected that senior Congress politicians had pressurised a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer to misrepresent facts of the case.
Saying that it was not fair to speak about the Ishrat operation with a fake encounter, Pillai said Times Now: “This was an intelligence operation involving LeT. If it was an intel operation, you should not talk about fake encounter. We should make that distinction… IB operations are not strictly within the ambit of the law. That’s how it is all around the world.”
MK Narayanan, who was the National Security Advisor (NSA) during the UPA regime, had recently said that intelligence agencies were aware of the fact that Ishrat was an LeT operative and “a key figure in a carefully planned” operation of the terror outfit.
Even IB officers have raised queries in the past on why Ishrat’s family in Mumbai did not even think of filing a missing person FIR when she did not come home for days.