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Trouble for Modi? Damning details of Ishrat killing given to SC

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Delhi Assembly polls: Narendra Modi targets Congress, Aam Aadmi Party
Delhi Assembly polls: Narendra Modi targets Congress, Aam Aadmi Party

The Gujarat snooping row is still to die down, but another set of explosive statements could soon besiege Narendra Modi, it seems. This time, it is IPS officer GL Singhal’s statements to the CBI in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter killing, now part of suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma’s affidavit to the Supreme Court on the snooping scandal.

Three sets of statements given by Singhal to the CBI earlier this year, allegedly containing “damning details” of the encounter according to a report in The Economic Times are part of Sharma’s latest affidavit. According to the report, Singhal has told the CBI he was coerced into participating in activities that obstructed the process of law. The report also said that Singhal had told CBI he had “serious objections” to killing Ishrat.

The statement to the CBI says: “I had said, we let her go, and had promised to ensure that she would not spill the beans about this operation to anyone… Despite my strong objections, Vanzara insisted on keeping the motive involving the CM and on killing the girl and branding her later as a woman terrorist…” His own interrogation of one of the men had indicated that Modi was not the target, the report says.

Vanzara, also now in jail and facing trial, reportedly told him the matter had been checked with “kaali daadhi and safed daadhi“, allegedly codenames for Amit Shah and Narendra Modi respectively. Singhal gave the statements to the CBI in April this year. His teenage son had committed suicide last year, following which, Singhal had said, he wanted to speak the truth for “inner comfort”. Expectedly, the BJP has charged the Congress with piggy-backing on “disgruntled” officers to fire a fresh barrage of allegations against their prime ministerial candidate. In a post on Facebook, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the Congress is actually running scared of the Modi wave and is engineering scandals to discredit the BJP’s campaign for the 2014 polls.

“They are back to their old game of detecting a disgruntled police officer or a civil servant and getting him to make absurd charges. This didn’t work when Sanjeev Bhatt did it. It won’t work with Congress party’s newly discovered suspended civil servant doing it,” Jaitley wrote. The latest allegations against Modi, perhaps the strongest until now, surfaced on 15 November when investigative websites Gulail and Cobrapost aired stories saying the Gujarat government and Minister of State for Home Amit Shah had in 2009 ordered illegal use of surveillance teams and technology to keep a watch on a woman in Ahmedabad, allegedly at the behest of an unnamed ‘Saheb’. Shah is a close associate of Narendra Modi, currently handling charge of Uttar Pradesh in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections next year.

The Cobrapost expose relied basically on taped conversations purportedly between jailed IPS officer Singhal who was being investigated for the Ishrat Jahan trial and Shah. The portals claimed that Modi had met the woman who was the subject of the snooping in 2009. Meanwhile, a report in The Hindu quoted Ishrat’s sister Musarrat as saying during a conference of the All India Democratic Women’s Association in Bodhgaya, Bihar, that the “blot of terrorism” that Ishrat was carrying has been removed after the SBI investigation into the case. “The day is not far when even the conspirators will be punished. We are fighting on because we do not want another Ishrat,” Musarrat reportedly said.

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