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Ahmedabad 2004 shootout victims were terrorists: central affidavit

Ahmedabad 2004 shootout victims were terrorists: central affidavit

Author: IANS
Publication: Newkerala.com
Date: September 8, 2009
URL: http://www.newkerala.com/nkfullnews-1-108088.html

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday cited a union home ministry affidavit of last month to say that Mumbai collegian Ishrat Jahan and her three friends killed in a 2004 Ahmedabad shootout were terrorists and planned attacks in India.

On June 15, 2004, Ishrat from Mumbra in Thane district and her three friends - Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani - were shot dead by Ahmedabad Police's Crime Branch (Detection) on the outskirts of the city.

The affidavit, submitted by R.V.S. Mani, under secretary in the home ministry in August, in the case states, among other things: "It is submitted that the Union of India in 2004 received specific inputs to suggest that Lashkar-e-Taiba had been planning to carry out terrorist activities in various parts of the country, including the state of Gujarat."

It says: "Two of the persons killed in the police encounter on 15.6.2004 were Pakistani nationals and it was known that they were sent by LeT to carry out terrorist actions in Gujarat. One of killed LeT cadre and Pak national was Amjad Ali alias Babbar alias Salim."

"The Jammu and Kashmir police arrested June 25-28, a group of LeT terrorists headed by the chief operational commander for Central Kashmir, Shahid Mehmud and his Pakistani associate Zahid Ahmed. In their disclosures, they mentioned that Amjad Ali alias Babbar alias Salim had entered India under express instructions from Muzammil for organising terrorist networks in Gujarat and Maharashtra," the home ministry affidavit says.

As for Javed and 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan, the affidavit says: "Hiring of Ishrat Jahan appears to be a part of the LeT conspiracy to provide cover to Javed alias Pramesh Kumar of being husband and wife during his movements to various parts of the country, including Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Ibrahimpur (Faizabad - UP) for accomplishment of his terrorist operation."

It adds: Given Javed's background having worked on menial jobs for most of his life, it would be quite clear to any reasonable and prudent person including the petition that the visits of Javed and Ishrat to Lucknow, Faizabad and Ahmedabad were not in connection with business of perfume/toileteries nor would it require a young girl to accompany him to such far off places."

Earlier in the day, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here: "The central government one month back accepted that Ishrat was a terrorist....(the) Government of India and ministry of home affairs came out clearly to say that they (Ishrat and three friends) were part of the conspiracy,"

But on a magisterial inquiry report of Monday that said the 2004 shootout was faked by the Gujarat police, Prasad only said it "was not final."

Ahmedabad's metropolitan magistrate S.P. Tamang's inquiry report asserted there was no shootout between the four youngsters and the police. The report added that the four students were kidnapped from Mumbai June 12, 2004, and killed in cold blood later, victims of extra-judicial killing by law enforcers.

Hinting at a political conspiracy, Prasad said: "Some people have problem with (Narendra) Modi's (Gujarat chief minister) name because he has done development work. But the democratic results of Gujarat are well known."

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