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Sena demands Ishrat Jahan sympathisers be booked, BJP demands investigation

Friday, February 12, 2016
By Prashant Hamine

Against the backdrop of Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley's statement that Ishrat Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) suicide bomber, senior Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut yesterday demanded that all those who tried to portray Jahan as a martyr and sympathised with her should now be booked like those tried in the 26/11 terror attack case. Meanwhile, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Madhav Bhandari demanded a probe against all the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders who had sympathised nd tried to defend her. While, both the Congress and NCP leaders argued that the government investigating agencies should not blindly trust a terrorist and that nobody should be targeted only because one belongs to a minority community.

Reacting to the statement of Headley, the Sena MP stated “Headley has repeated what he has said in Chicago earlier. At that time some people had made her a 'Jhansi Ki Rani' and considered her a martyr. At that time we had said that these people will fall flat on their faces and the same thing has happened. All those who tried to portray her as a martyr should now be tried afresh under the 26/11 trial”. Reacting to the NCP contention that the Ishrat Jahan encounter of June 2004 was fake, Raut argued that the encounter was not fake. The LeT too had admitted that she was their operative. There is nothing like a fake encounter with regard to a terrorist. What the Gujarat government and police did then was right”.

Bhandari wanted to know whether NCP leaders – Sharad Pawar, Vasant Davkhare and Jitendra Awhad – who had defended Jahan had done so for minority appeasement. He wanted the government to investigate whether there was something more to it. He added that NCP president Sharad Pawar had gone to the extent of declaring Ishrat Jahan as innocent. Vasant Davkhare had given cheque to her family. While Awhad had tried to give employment to her nearest kin.

On the other hand, state NCP spokesperson Nawab Mallik stated that the case is going on in the court of law. The court will decide on whether she was a terrorist or not. Her family has moved the Supreme Court to prove her innocence. He added, “we do not shield any terrorist, neither do we support any terrorist. If the encounter of Ishrat Jahan is fake then the BJP leaders will have to explain it to the people. If she indeed was a terrorist then in the national interest why no attempt was made to extract information from her. Why was encounter done, to suppress which information. The government ought to give explanation for all these issues”.

Senior MNS leader Nitin Sardesai stated that there are many issues involved in the case of involvement of Pakistan and ISI.

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