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Was tortured, forced to sign affidavit clearing Ishrat Jahan, says former bureaucrat

March 02, 2016 08:55 IST

Another former bureaucrat has revealed that changes in the Ishrat Jahan affidavit may have been made at the political level.

In an interview to Times Now, former Under Secretary, Internal Security, in the ministry of home affairs RVS Mani has alleged that he was abused and tortured by officers of the Special Investigation Team during the United Progressive Alliance government to sign on a contradictory affidavit relating to Ishrat. He made the sensational revelation that SIT chief Satish Verma on June 21, 2013 burnt him with cigarettes to put pressure on him to toe the UPA’s line on the affidavit.

During Mani’s tenure in the ministry, two affidavits were filed on the Ishrat Jahan case, one on August 6, 2009 and the second affidavit contradicting the first one was filed on September 30, 2009.

In the first affidavit, Mani had mentioned that Ishrat and her three accomplices were terrorists. But in the second affidavit, allegedly redrafted at the behest of then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Mani contradicted his earlier stand claiming there was no conclusive evidence to prove that these four persons were terrorists.

After GK Pillai, RVS Mani is yet another former bureaucrat who has come out hinting that changes in the second affidavit of Ishrat Jahan case were made at a political level. The accusations of torture by Mani also add to the gravity of the claims he has made and it will be tough for Congress to find their way out of this.

Following the claims, the Bharatiya Janata Party called an emergency media briefing late in the evening and fielded Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who alleged that Chidambaram did it on the directions of the Congress high command to frame the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his ministerial colleague Amit Shah, who was then minister of state for home.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi accused BJP of spreading a lie about American-Pakistani terrorist David Headley and said it was very unfortunate that the ruling party was resorting to false propaganda.

“Congress has never supported or opposed the guilt issue of Ishrat Jahan if established in a court of law or any procedure known to law. If Intelligence Bureau had intelligence inputs, Ishrat Jahan would have been prosecuted. Entire Congress stand was that irrespective of guilt, a guilty person cannot be assassinated or liquidated without due process of law which is what happened in Modi’s autocratic rule in Gujarat,” he said.

Insisting that India was a proud democracy where Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab face full trial up to the Supreme Court, he said police did not kill the Parliament attack convict or the 26/11 perpetrator in a fake encounter. 

-- With inputs from PTI

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