Chidambaram in dock after revelations

P Chidambaram

Revelations by former under secretary for internal security at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) R V S Mani has opened up a can of worms with former Home Minister P Chidambaram’s political fortunes taking a nose dive and embarrassing the Congress party to no end.
Mani on Tuesday claimed that he did not draft the second affidavit and was forced – he was burnt with cigarette butts – to sign the file which did not name Ishrat Jahan as a terrorist. “I did not draft the second affidavit, I was ordered to sign 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,” Mani told a news channel.
His disclosure follows hard on the heels of former home secretary G.K. Pillai’s damaging revelation that former home minister P. Chidambaram “bypassed him” and “rewrote” the second affidavit submitted to a court in this connection. “I believe in Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) inputs, and there is no reason for not believing in IB inputs. The CBI, however, said IB input is not believable. I refused to back what the CBI said,” he said.
Last week, Pillai had said the Ishrat affidavit was “changed at the political level”, confirming what Mani has said. Maintaining that the SIT Chief was engineering evidence, Mani said a posse of sleuths surveiled him and that in June 2013, he was burnt with cigarettes.
Cornered by Pillai, Chidambaram said on Monday the revised affidavit was “absolutely correct” and “as a minister he accepts full responsibility for the affidavit”.
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.
On the morning of 15 June 2004, Ishrat Jahan (19), Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead on the road leading to the Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Police claimed that she was part of a plot to assassinate the then chief minister Narendra Modi. The Congress and its secularist media lobby projected the incident as a case of fake encounter.

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