New Delhi: Former home minister P. Chidambaram on Monday alleged that the affidavit controversy related to the Ishrat Jahan encounter case was only to an attempt to divert attention from the real issue.
“Real issue is whether there was a fake encounter & whether FOUR people already in custody were KILLED in that FAKE ENCOUNTER. Coming to the affidavits, the Home Minister does not sign affidavits. It is signed by an Under Secretary,” he said in a series of tweets.
“Although I have no recollection of seeing the first affidavit, let us presume that I did. Then came the report of Magistrate SP Tamang. This report caused uproar and there was demand mainly from Gujarat that Government of India should clarify or dispel misinterpretation being placed on the first affidavit. This is why a Second, short affidavit was filed!” he added.
Earlier, the BJP questioned the Congress Party’s silence over reports claiming that Chidambaram had signed the first affidavit in the Ishrat case, and accused the grand old party of hatching a conspiracy against the people of India with a political agenda.
Media reports revealed that Chidambaram had in fact signed the first affidavit, which declared Ishrat and three others as terrorists, but gave all four a clean chit a month later as serious amendments were made in the second affidavit also signed by him.
The first affidavit in the encounter case stated that Ishrat was a LeT operative, who was part of a plot to assassinate the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
Chidambaram had initially claimed that the first affidavit declaring Ishrat and three others as terrorists was filed in the court without his approval, adding that he had made some editorial changes to avoid misinterpretation when the matter was brought to his notice.
Chidambaram, however, completely altered his stance in the second affidavit, saying that intelligence inputs on Ishrat and the three others did not constitute conclusive proof and favoured a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the encounter.