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UPA affidavit too spoke of LeT links

UPA affidavit too spoke of LeT links

Author: Express News Service
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: September 9, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/upa-affidavit-too-spoke-of-let-links/514755/

The UPA government's August 6, 2004 affidavit filed in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter makes it amply clear that the teenager's accomplice Javed aka Pranesh Pillai was in touch with Lashkar-e-Toiba's operational commander Muzammil and that the Centre was aware of the proscribed group's plans to assassinate "some top-level national and state leaders".

Filed by R V S Mani of the Union Home Ministry's Internal Security Wing, the affidavit says: "Union of India in 2004 received specific inputs to suggest that LeT had been planning to carry out terrorists activities in various parts of country including the state of Gujarat." The affidavit was filed before the Gujarat HC in response to petitions asking for a CBI inquiry filed by Ishrat Jahan's mother Shamima Kausar and Javed's father Gopinath Pillai before the Supreme Court. The SC had referred Pillai to the Gujarat HC.

The affidavit points to the contradictions in the two petitions about the whereabouts of both Jahan and Javed before the encounter. Two Pakistani LeT operatives, Zeeshan Johar of Gujranwala and Amjad Ali of Sargodha, were also killed in the encounter. "The Government has learnt that the LeT has inducted its cadre including Pakistani terrorists for specific action. It came to the notice of the agencies of the Union Government that Javed was in regular touch with LeT operatives, particularly Muzammil, to carry out action in Gujarat," it says.

While LeT mouthpiece "Ghazwa Times" described Ishrat as a women activist of the terrorist group the day after she was killed in the encounter, the parent body Jamaat-ud-Dawa issued an apology for the news item on May 2, 2007. "It is clear from the above that Ishrat was actively associated with LeT and an apology by the group is only tactical to discredit Indian security agencies and police and is aimed at misleading the court," the affidavit says.

It says: "The claimed hiring of Ishrat Jahan by Javed was not for the purpose claimed by the petitioner (Kausar), but appears to be a part of LeT conspiracy to provide cover to Javed of being husband and wife during his movements to various parts of country including Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Ibrahimpur (Faizabad-UP) for accomplishment of his terrorist missions."

In her petition, Ishrat's mother had stated that Javed was had hired her daughter as a salesgirl for his perfume business. In contrast, Pillai's affidavit says his son was ferrying tourists in his Indica taxi and makes no mention of any perfume business.

o Pune police investigations indicate that Pakistani Amjad Ali, aka Babbar, was present with Javed at the time of purchase of the blue Indica (MH 02 JA 4786). Gujarat Police investigations indicate that Ishrat and Javed stayed together in a Lucknow hotel and at a private residence in Ibrahimpur. Both the petitioners have failed to explain the duo's relationship with the Pakistani nationals.

o Pune police recovered from Javed's Mumbra residence documents related to the preparation of high explosive devices through commonly available chemicals, electronic circuits for detonation, advanced code sheets for communications and code names assigned to various targets including important political personalities.

o Javed had two passports, one issued in Mumbai and other in his Hindu name from Cochin, and travelled to Dubai and was briefed by Muzammil during his trip to Oman in March-April, 2004.

o A group of 18 LeT terrorists intercepted by J&K Police in June 2004 told their interrogators that Amjad Ali (killed in the encounter) had entered India under express instructions from Muzammil for organising terrorists networks in Gujarat and Maharashtra. He was in regular touch with Javed.

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