NIA Asked To “Tone Down” Ishrat’s LeT Links After MHA Interference
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had hidden the fact that Ishrat Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist in it’s letter to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), according to Times Now.
On the channel’s primetime show The Newshour, Times Now claimed that this change came after directions from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
According to the Times Now report, David Headley named Ishrat Jahan as an LeT operative when he was interrogated by NIA official Lok Nath Behra in 2010. In March 2011, Behra wanted to share these inputs with the Gujarat SIT that was investigating the alleged fake encounter case in which Ishrat Jahan and five others were killed.
However, the report claims that MHA officials met with Behra and asked him to “tone down” the language of the letter and remove Ishrat’s LeT reference. In May 2011, the NIA’s letter to the SIT read that Headley’s testimony was hearsay and hence of no relevance.
More Trouble for Chidambaram
The new report in the series of revelations in the Ishrat case by Times Now have caused more trouble for the then Home Minister P Chidambaram. The surfacing of conflicting affidavits signed by him has already brought him under fire.
The revelation hints at a cover-up by the Congress leader to save his political stature and evade the embarrassment of the party. Mahesh Jethmalani, a senior lawyer has accused Chidambaram of compromising national security.
BJP Slams Chidambaram’s Silence
The Bhartiya Janata Party was critical of Chidambaram’s silence on the issue and demanded answers from the leaders of Congress party. The BJP spokesperson said the former Home Minister had taken decisions in contrast with intelligence inputs.
Meanwhile, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam also said that Headly had disclosed the name of Ishrat to NIA, supporting NIA’s first letter to SIT.