NEW DELHI: Former Union home minister P Chidambaram faces fire from two flanks with another Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) official confirming that a court affidavit was altered at the boss' behest in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, and AIADMK MPs targeting him for his son Kathi's role in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
The revelation that the Ishrat Jahan affidavit was altered by Chidambaram himself was confirmed by former under-secretary for internal security in the MHA R V S Mani on Tuesday. It was first made by former home secretary G K Pilllai and owned by Chidambaram himself.
All the same, it threatens to alter the current political discourse as the BJP was quick to target the former home minister for erasing findings about Ishrat's terror links in the affidavit.
Mani told a news channel, "I did not draft the second affidavit. I was ordered to sign the file, so I did it. If I am ordered to do something, I have to go and do it. I cannot refuse. I cannot say what the need for the affidavit was? You will have to ask people who ordered it.”.
His claim came days after former home secretary G.K. Pillai alleged that Chidambaram “bypassed him” and “rewrote” the second affidavit submitted to a court in this connection.
“I believe in Intelligence Bureau’s (IB's) inputs, and there is no reason for not believing in IB inputs. The CBI, however, said the IB input is not believable. I refused to back what the CBI said,” he said.
Chidambaram said on Monday said the revised affidavit was “absolutely correct” and “as a minister I accept full responsibility for tt”.
Hitting back at Pillai, Chidambaram it was disappointing that the former home secretary who was equally responsible wanted to distance himself from that.
Citing intelligence reports, Chidambaram as home minister had submitted an affidavit in the Gujarat High Court in August 2009, which referred to Ishrat’s alleged links with Lashkar-e-Taiba.
However, a revised affidavit was filed within a month, in which all references to Ishrat’s alleged terror links were missing.
The 19-year-old college student was gunned down along with three others in Ahmedabad in June 2004, allegedly while conspiring to kill the then chief minister of gujarat, Narendra Modi.
Her terror links were a matter of dispute for over a decade until they were confirmed by Pakistani terrorist David Headley last month.