NEW DELHI: After a controversy erupted over former Home Minister P Chidambaram’s role in the Ishrat Jahan case, fingers are being pointed at the top Congress leadership for targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then Gujarat Chief Minister, over the 2002 riots.
A former Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, A K Jain, told Express that the ministry had received suggestions from the National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Sonia Gandhi to tweak the terms of references so that a Central inquiry commission could be appointed to investigate the riots.
The NAC was acting as an interface between the government, civil society and the public. Jain, who served in the ministry between 2000 and 2005, said he rejected the NAC suggestion as a commission set up by the State was already investigating the matter and setting up a Central inquiry commission could violate the norms.
“I put my recommendation very clearly on the files that it should not be done. The NAC was virtually driving various government agendas at that time and any reference from it was considered top priority.
“Many other groups were also sending references that Centre must appoint a commission besides the State’s own commission that was probing it,” he said. Jain handled the human rights, border management and internal security division during his tenure with the ministry and interacted with the Intelligence Bureau and other Central agencies.
Jain, while commenting on the Ishrat Jehan case, said that the changing the affidavit and censoring terror links from the input were totally wrong. He said IB input son day one had clarified the group’s links with terrorists and no question was raised on the veracity of reports at that time.
Jain said his division obtained reports from both the State government and the IB after the alleged fake encounter in 2004 and it was very clear that they were out on a mission to kill “some VIPs” and subsequently they were killed in an encounter which was on record. “I could not see any conflict or different version between the reports of the State government and the Intelligence Bureau. There is no reason to doubt the intelligence provided by the IB,” Jain said.