SIT scandal casts shadow over Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case probe - The New Indian Express

SIT scandal casts shadow over Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case probe

Published: 16th July 2013 07:48 AM

Last Updated: 16th July 2013 07:48 AM

Ishrat Jahan fake encounter probe is getting murkier by the day.

After reports of SIT dragging the Intelligence Bureau into the Ministry of Home Affairs’ affidavit muddle, the IB has made it clear that its officials were never involved in drafting or re-drafting MHA’s affidavit in the case.

A senior IB officer said the affidavit in the case was prepared by Director (Internal Security), MHA, and an under-secretary level officer. “These are baseless allegations. Our job is well defined. There are certain rules and procedures that the Home Ministry needs to follow while preparing an affidavit and the IB never suggested or interfered in drafting any affidavit,” he said.

Moreover, a former MHA official, who was grilled by the SIT in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case on June 22, 2013, blew the whistle over SIT’s attempt to implicate IB officials in the affidavit controversy.

“Mr Verma (IG, SIT) dictated a note indicating that two IB persons came to the room of Director (IS) with a draft affidavit which was put up for approval and after approval filed on June 6, 2009. Thereafter, since the said affidavit was misinterpreted by the Government of Gujarat, on orders from the Home Minister, another affidavit was drafted in the room of JS(IS) with representatives from Ministry of Law, IB etc and the same was filed on Sep 29, 2009. I refused to sign on the statement,” Former MHA official R V S Mani had said adding that signing would tantamount to falsely indicting his seniors.

While MHA’s deafening silence on the entire controversy continues, the allegations against SIT officials for coercing a former MHA under-secretary are flying thick and fast.

Interestingly, the MHA maintained its mysterious silence on the charges that the SIT was pressurising its former official. However, a source said that “the complaint is of serious nature”.

“He (Satish Chandra Verma, SIT officer) asked me whether this affidavit, filed on June 6, 2009, was brought as a draft by Rajinder Kumar which was then submitted as approval. I said this is not the case. He asked me who brought this affidavit. I said the director, being an income tax officer, and me, being a qualified lawyer, do not require any other person to draft it for us,” former MHA official had told the SIT.

Why Rely on IB?

Shockingly, charges levelled by Mani also revealed that the SIT grilled him for believing the IB inputs.

“He (SIT IG, Verma) said why do rely on IB’s input? I told him that there is no reason not to rely on the same. Further, there have been many modules busted relying upon the input. He asked me specific number. I told him this information will be available in internal security section of the MHA.”

He said: “I told Verma that we are not fools sitting here in MHA secretariat. Every IB input is processed and only then action is taken.”

He said Verma had raised question about IB input on Javed Sheikh having two passports and procuring arms from Ibrahimpur, terming it as investigation after killing them and not input. “I said it is your perception. For me, this is an intelligence input. You do not have to kill a person to collect information on this...information on purchase of arms from wherever it is can be collated and that is what the job of the IB. If you can prove otherwise, you are free to do so.”

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