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Ishrat was killed in cold blood, says her family

July 05, 2010 20:00 IST

The family of Ishrat Jahan, the teenage from Mumbra near Mumbai who was killed in an encounter along with three other alleged terrorists have dismissed the news report attributed to National Intelligence Agency which claimed that Ishrat was a Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative. An English newspaper had published the news report on Monday that claimed American  terrorist David Headley had revealed to the NIA that Ishrat Jahan was LeT operative recruited by the outfit's top commander Muzammil.

Headley is currently in the custody of the US law enforcement agencies for his role in 26/11 terror attacks of Mumbai. Headley had reportedly divulged about Ishrat during his interrogation by NIA sleuths.

Ishrat's mother Shamima Kausar said: "I know my daughter was innocent. Whatever is being said about Ishrat being a terrorist is baseless. We have full faith in the judiciary."  

Rauf Lala, one of the residents of Mumbra who had supported the family through this ordeal said that the news report was timed to prejudice the minds of the people as in two months the court appointed committee would be submitting its report on Ishrat's fake encounter in Gujarat. "Metropolitan magistrate S P Tamang, who had inquired into the case has already concluded that the encounter was fake and since then there has been no fresh evidence that has come forth to prove the contrary," said Lala.

Lala added that the news report was a desperate attempt to malign a dead person so as to justify the teenager's cold blooded killing. "We live in a society where an encounter by the police is often justified with a criminal background of the deceased. By labeling Ishrat as a terrorist, an attempt is being made to justify the act of the cold-blooded murder of an innocent girl," he said.    

Lala said that none of the information in the news could be corroborated by authentic sources. "It is not in the public domain what Headley revealed to the NIA. Only Home Minister P Chidambaram or the NIA will be able to throw light on the matter," said Lala. The family is considering suing the newspaper for defamation, said Lala.

N Ganesh in Mumbai