Dropping proceedings against former police officers D G Vanzara and N K Amin in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, a special CBI court on 2 May 2019 acquitted them of all charges. Following the verdict, Vinod Gajjar, who represented Vanzara, said, “The court’s order goes on to establish that the encounter was genuine.”
This development is very important, and reveals a lot about the nature of the anti-BJP parties and the self-styled ‘liberals’ of not only the Congress/Lutyens Delhi ecosystem, but also of other ‘secularists’ who are not a part of this ecosystem. (Yes, there are many who are not a part of those patronized by any party, and yet are staunchly against BJP & Narendra Modi.)
It shows how and what they think about the threat to the life of Narendra Modi, and the lives of Hindus in general, and activists of the Hindu Right in particular. In reality, many of them (not all) are GLAD when the Hindu activists are killed or attacked. They want the silence of the Right-wing Hindus, preferably over their dead body. Let us see how they reacted last year on a plot by Maoists to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As per reports on 8 June 2018, a letter accessed by the Pune Police revealed a plot by Maoists i.e. Communist radicals to assassinate PM Narendra Modi in a “Rajiv Gandhi type incident” by “targeting road shows”. The Pune Police arrested 5 persons in this regard.
After this, as expected, there was an attempt to deny any such threat to Modi, attempt to pooh-pooh the claims of the Pune Police by the usual suspects- i.e. the anti-BJP politicians and the ‘secularist’ intellectuals. ‘Secularist’ journalists Swati Chaturvedi and Rohini Singh went to a ridiculous level to malign the NSA Ajit Doval.
JNU ‘student leader’ Shehla Rashid alleged on Twitter that BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and RSS are planning to assassinate PM Modi and blame it on the Muslims and Communists and then lynch Muslims. When threatened with a defamation suit, she made up a cover-up lie calling her tweet as ‘sarcasm’ whereas it was by no means sarcasm, it was a serious charge. Before this, she had called the plot to assassinate Modi, whom she called a ‘mass murderer’ [term borrowed from Shabana Azmi who first coined it in March 2002] as ‘bullshit’.
Congress leaders like Sanjay Nirupam took the usual path of pooh-poohing this threat. A known anti-Modi man, former Gujarat additional DGP (Intelligence), R.B. Sreekumar said: “These letters seem to be planted. Maoists never use real names.” This was quoted by Nikhil Wagle on Twitter, who is a journalist with a massive anti-BJP obsession and had called the PM Modi a ‘pervert‘.
Let us go a little further behind in time. In Oct 2013, bomb blasts at Modi’s rally in Patna by Indian Mujahiddin terrorists killed 6 and injured 85. In 2008, there were bombs planted in Surat. And on one occasion, Modi walked past a live bomb in Surat on 31 July 2008. After the deadly Coimbatore blasts of 14 February 1998 which killed 58 and nearly killed L K Advani, the then Congress President Sitaram Kesri accused RSS of carrying out the blasts.
After this, there were reports that he denied having made the allegation. But he then denied having denied the allegation and stuck to his charge. Even these blasts nearly killing Advani who had a miraculous escape as his flight was delayed by over 90 minutes due to bad weather, and killing 58 people, many of whom were BJP workers were not enough to melt the heart of the Congress. Congress candidate Imran Masud had himself threatened to chop Modi into pieces in 2014.
The Lalu-appointed Banerjee Committee in Jan 2005 as expected gave a report that Godhra was an accident, and not done by Muslims. The Congress fully defended that and attacked BJP for opposing the Banerjee report with spokesmen Abhishek Singhvi and Anand Sharma in forefront, thereby whitewashing the 2000 Muslims of their heinous crime of roasting to coal 59 Hindus. Lalu Yadav alleged in Bihar in rallies before Assembly polls in Jan-Feb 2005 that “BJP-RSS workers killed 59 in Godhra & blamed Muslims for it”, whereas the Banerjee Committee had merely called it an accident, and not said that ‘BJP-RSS workers killed the 59 in Godhra.’
Their heart doesn’t melt even in cases like Godhra where 59 Ram sewaks including 25 women and 15 children were roasted to coal by 2000 fanatic Muslims. Even after conviction of 34 Muslims by the trial court and the High Court, they will defend the barbaric killers & insult the dead, & blame RSS, BJP or VHP of doing the killings. What is surprising in Shehla Rashid tweeting the same on Modi? There will be an exclusive book by this author on the slander of the dead and defense of the killers in the Godhra case by the ‘secularists’. A BJP opponent, as late as 2017 refused to blame Muslims for Godhra and called the dead 59 in Godhra as ‘fanatics’ including the 15 children killed including babies which was allowed to be published by India Today’s platform DailyO.
Naturally, when they did so in the past cases, they would do the same in the Ishrat Jahan case where 4 terrorists were trying to assassinate Modi. Modi’s life hardly matters to many of them. A clear terrorist was tried to be portrayed as an ‘innocent girl’. Many concrete things have been suppressed totally by the media about the Ishrat Jahan encounter. Let us see this case now in totality.
On 15 June 2004, 4 suspected terrorists were gunned down on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. They included 19 year old Ishrat Jahan and 3 other men, 2 of whom were Pakistani nationals. After that, (as expected) the Leftist liberals in the media and anti-BJP politicians of the Congress, Samajwadi Party etc started claiming that the encounter was fake and 19-year old Ishrat Jahan was ‘innocent’ without any evidence to it. Their hatred for Narendra Modi is so much that they simply cannot digest the fact that a 19 year old girl attacked and tried to kill Narendra Modi, and would rather claim the opposite to be true. This howling lasted for a few days. One day the Marathi edition of The Indian Express, Loksatta reported in its issue of 14 July 2004 headlined: “Yes, Ishrat indeed was a terrorist” (‘Ho, Ishrat dahashatavaadich hoti’). The next day Lashkar-e-Toiba admitted on 14 July 2004 that Ishrat was indeed its member, reported by the English dailies the next day i.e. 15 July 2004. It said that Ishrat was married was to one of the three others in the car [i.e. Javed Sheikh] and was sitting with her husband in the car.
Immediately after this, the media and the Congress dropped the issue like a hot cake. They did not bother to apologize to Narendra Modi for falsely alleging that the encounter was fake and ‘innocent’ Ishrat Jahan was killed. The Samajwadi Party also organised a ‘bandh’ in Mumbai’s Mumbra area in support of Ishrat Jahan before this confession by LeT. Former Gujarat CM and then Congress leader S S Vaghela and Congress Party had directly accused Narendra Modi of stage-managing the encounter. After this confession, the matter died its death. At that time the Sangh Parivar did not attack the Left-liberal-secular brigade for naked direct support to terrorists, and false allegations on innocent people like Narendra Modi and did not file defamation cases either. This was also violation of 153-A needlessly infuriating a community along with defamation of Modi. NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad gave financial compensation to Ishrat Jahan’s family also in Mumbai.
In June 2004 itself, not only the Gujarat Police, but even the Mumbai Police (which worked under Congress in Maharashtra from 1999 to 2014) also said that there were sufficient leads to know Ishrat Jahan’s LeT links. Note the line in The Indian Express’ report of 15 July 2004 in Paragraph 4: “However, Gujarat and Mumbai police had said there were sufficient leads to suspect her involvement in militant activities“.
But after the hullabaloo raised by anti-Narendra Modi people, the Mumbai Police also kept quiet on this issue, while in 2004 it had said the opposite. This is a clear indication that under political pressure from Congress and NCP, the anti-terrorist operations of Mumbai Police were curbed and Mumbai Police was forced to give up its drive against the suspected terrorist Ishrat Jahan. This was naked support to terrorists and interference in work of Police by Congress and NCP for the sake of attacking Narendra Modi.
Assume for argument’s sake, that the Gujarat Police wanted to kill 2 people in a fake encounter along with 2 Pakistani terrorists. Why on earth will they choose a totally unknown 19-year old girl from Thane, Maharashtra for it? They could have easily chosen grown-up criminal men from Gujarat itself had they wanted to do so. It is like the West Bengal Police deciding to kill 2 people in a fake encounter with Pakistani terrorists in Kolkata, and deciding to kill an unknown 19-year old girl from Patna, Bihar for it! How ridiculous!
This is one article worth reading on the claims of the Gujarat Police. Mumbai Police also must have had similar evidence, or more clinching one.
Let us see what Ishrat Jahan’s mother said on 18 June 2004:
“Answering questions by media persons, Ms. Shamima denied reports in a section of the Mumbai press that Ishrat had twice left her house without the knowledge of the family members. She also contradicted her earlier statement that the family members were unaware about her whereabouts when she left home on June 12 morning. She claimed that Ishrat had left Thane to go to Mumbai to appear in an “interview.” Ms. Shamima disagreed that she suspected her daughter’s involvement with Javed, driver of the car carrying the four from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. Neither Javed nor the two other alleged terrorists who the police claimed hailed from Pakistan, had ever come to her place. She denied that Javed and Ishrat were ever trailed by the intelligence personnel in the past as reported in a section of the press.”
What her mother said later was different. In her petition to the Gujarat High Court, Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kausar had disputed the version of the Gujarat police as well as the Centre, claiming that her daughter was a saleswoman working for Javed Sheikh who dealt in perfumes.
Both Gujarat police and Centre (i.e. the then UPA Government, which was staunchly anti-Narendra Modi) pointed to infirmities in their version. Centre (UPA) told Gujarat HC that Javed had been recruited by LeT when he was in Dubai. Gopinath Pillai (Javed’s father) had not disclosed criminal cases pending against his son, or the fact that he had obtained a different passport using his original name even though the one issued to him was still valid.
The Centre (i.e. UPA) also disputed the claim of Gopinath Pillai, supported by Ishrat’s mother, that he was in the business of perfumes and that this required him and Ishrat to travel across the country. But in 2013 Javed Sheikh’s father said he went to Gujarat to meet a policeman! (no mention of the perfume business!) His father said Javed had paid her college fees 1 week before! (But Ishrat’s mother told the media on 18 June 2004 that Javed didn’t know Ishrat at all- but Javed’s father says he paid her fees!)
The late Mukul Sinha, lawyer of Gopinath i.e. father of Javed Sheikh, said the killings were part of a conspiracy and claimed Javed had no links with terror activities. How naïve he thinks we are!
So- her mother first said on 18 June 2004 that Ishrat did not know Javed. Then she said she knew Javed and worked under him for a perfume business. First she said she went away from home without telling and her whereabouts were not known to the family. Then she said she went away from home to give an ‘interview’. Then she said she went away from home for job requirements of a ‘perfume business’. Anyone with an iota of common sense will know that this shows that her mother fully knew that her daughter Ishrat was a terrorist and was fully involved with her. How naïve can one be to not see through such claims? The so-called ‘perfume business’ turned out to be non-existent later! The Left-liberals forcibly suppressed all these contradictions in her mother’s statements and did not question her on them, or question her lawyers like Vrinda Grover who defended her.
In June 2004 Police called the statements made by Ishrat’s mother, Shamima Raza, before the media after taking her daughter’s body to Mumbra in Thane, a “lie”. What she revealed before the Ahmedabad police during questioning corroborated some of the facts mentioned in the diary recovered by the police in June 2004. She had told the police that Javed lived in Mumbra for about three years in the late 1990s during which time they had “family relations.”
Only once did a former Himachal Pradesh CM Prem Kumar Dhumal write an article in Organiser in October 2004 where he dealt with this and said: “None of them asked the question- if she was innocent, what was she doing with 3 other much older men in a car, 2 of whom were Pakistani nationals, at 4 am in the morning 500 km away from home?”
Then out of the blue in 2009, Ahmedabad Magistrate Justice Tamang said in a report that the Ishrat Jahan encounter was fake, when it was not his jurisdiction to comment on it. He also said that all people were innocent and had no links to terrorists, ignoring the LeT confession completely. By that time, most people had forgotten this confession. But Justice Tamang had no authority, and did not even do the bare minimum of hearing the side of Police and Intelligence officials and of the Gujarat Government. His report was then duly stayed by the Gujarat HC. The HC said that the observations made in the report were beyond the jurisdiction of the judicial magistrate.
Then the SIT was asked to probe this case, and it is reported to have said in 2011 that the encounter was fake, without knowing what it said about whether the people were terrorists or not. But The Times of India reported on 24 October 2011 that the SIT agreed that all 4, including Ishrat Jahan indeed had terror links.
Then gradually this case was taken up again during the UPA rule, with not only the encounter being termed fake, but the girl and 3 others also called ‘innocent’.
But the Ex-Home Secretary during the Congress-UPA rule is on record saying that Ishrat Jahan was indeed a Terrorist, the day after the SIT was reported to have said that the encounter was fake.
But former IB chief A K Doval said that the UPA put tremendous pressure on SIT to call the encounter fake! But in 2009 the Centre’s (UPAs) affidavit to Gujarat HC was full of contradictions and confusing. But the UPA said in an affidavit that Ishrat was a terrorist indeed!
In 2010 terrorist David Headley whose real name was Dawood Gilani and who was involved in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai also admitted that Ishrat was Lashkar’s terrorist. It was reported in June 2013 that the Congress deleted David Headley’s confession!
In between, in 2007, the Lashkar-e-Toiba ‘retracted’ its confession! On May 2, 2007, the Jama’t-ud-Da’wah carried an apology to Ishrat’s family on its website. The apology was by its spokesperson Abdulla Muntazir on the internet edition of the paper saying he was on leave when this admission was published and called it a “journalistic mistake by my staff”. Apologising to her family and all Indian Muslims, he wrote, “It has now been proven that Ishrat Jahan was not a member of Lashkar-e-Toiba and she was an innocent Muslim girl who was murdered by the Modi Sarkar.” What took the Lashkar three years to make the amendment is not explained.
The timing of the apology was significant. It came just before Gopinath Pillai, father of Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai who was killed along with Ishrat, filed a petition in the Supreme Court, demanding a CBI probe into the encounter.
Of course, it is common sense that you cannot acquit a criminal after he has confessed, and takes 3 years to retract his confession. The confession of 2004 was very accurate providing details that Ishrat was married to one of the 3 others in the car (i.e. Javed Sheikh) and was sitting with her husband which shows that LeT’s confession was very true. Also, the excuse given in the ‘retracting of confession’ that ‘I was on leave that day and it was a journalistic mistake’ is rubbish. If that was the case, it would have been retracted within 1-2 days, it doesn’t take 3 years to make correction to a mistake.
The LeT retracted when it understood that it will be easier to put Narendra Modi in difficulty by accusing his government of murdering an ‘innocent’ girl rather than confessing that she was their terrorist. In 2004, when the Leftist-liberals were howling against Narendra Modi, there was absolutely no reason for LeT to falsely confess Ishrat as its member.
Then the CBI was given the case and it duly followed its master’s (UPA’s) orders to frame innocent people of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and defend the guilty terrorists. IB officer Rajinder Kumar was tried to be made an accused. We had a conflict between CBI and IB over this, and a Headlines Today broadcast in June 2013 proved that they were all indeed terrorists. But politicians like Sharad Pawar again alleged shamelessly that the 19 year old Ishrat was innocent and accused Narendra Modi of murdering her. Pawar of course, did not explain why his own UPA coalition called her a terrorist in an affidavit given in the High Court in 2009, even after Justice Tamang’s (un-authorized) report.
After the June 2013 Headlines Today story, NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad, the man who gave compensation in 2004, alleged actually that the IB is working on BJP’s orders [when his party was ruling in the UPA and BJP was in Opposition!] and IB is not above law. This is another dangerous trend, a public representative making such terrible charges against IB which was also headed by a Muslim (Asif Ibrahim), and it was under the UPA Government.
Note here that the entire IB was fully behind its officer Rajinder Kumar who was being targeted by the CBI under UPA in this case. One could say, that at the most, one officer gave false information. But is the entire IB involved in a conspiracy to ‘eliminate an innocent girl’? Absolutely impossible. The very fact that the whole IB, which was headed by a Muslim Asif Ibrahim was behind Kumar and against UPA Government’s witch-hunt shows that the IB is absolutely right and it was a forcible attempt by UPA to frame innocents.
Jitendra Awhad and Sharad Pawar are wrong on facts also. Awhad claimed: “There is no record of any such warning being given to the state (Maharashtra) by the IB (on Ishrat’s terror links)…” while Pawar said: “Modi said the Mumbai police had failed to do their duty”. In reality, the Mumbai Police also said in 2004 that there were sufficient leads to zero in on Ishrat. This police worked under the Home Ministry of the state, which was held by their own party NCP from 1999 to 2014.
It is absolutely clear that Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist, since the UPA Government said this in a signed affidavit. It is absolutely impossible that the UPA Government would falsely call an ‘innocent’ Muslim girl as a ‘terrorist’ in 2009 that too in case of its bitter enemy Narendra Modi. In 2013 UPA decided to use this case against Narendra Modi by trying to frame him, with the help of friendly people in the Delhi media though it knew that Ishrat was a terrorist because it wanted to put Modi in some troubles so as to make Rahul Gandhi’s way clear in 2014. Unfortunately for them, this also did not materialize and Rahul’s party suffered a rout in 2014.
Senior columnist the late T V R Shenoy wrote: “What was Ishrat Jahan doing between June 12, when she disappeared from her mother’s house, and June 15, when she was shot in the company of alleged terrorists? One theory doing the rounds is that the young lady was kidnapped by the Gujarat police for use in their ‘false encounter.’ Let us assume for argument’s sake that the Gujarat police wanted dead bodies to file a charge of an ‘encounter.‘ Why on earth would they choose a completely unknown girl from Thane as a victim? I am sure there are other, far more likely candidates, grown men with a known criminal background, in Gujarat itself. The Gujarat police could have plausibly chosen any of them and there would have been nary a murmur.”
The sheer stupidity of the argument of the Gujarat Police using a totally unknown 19-year old ‘innocent’ girl from Thane for use in a fake encounter was never told by the media.
The Left-liberals of the media and political opponents will not reveal the truth of the Ishrat Jahan case even now, after the acquittal of 2 police officers. Leaders like Sharad Pawar will of course not apologize, they will also not be asked to apologize by the ‘secular’ media. They will pooh-pooh the real threat to Narendra Modi’s life, call it as ‘bullshit’, ‘fake attempts to get sympathy’, etc. and when horror events actually happen, such as Godhra, 1998 Coimbatore blasts etc they will allege that these were done by RSS/BJP and blame falsely put on Muslims!
[Some part of this article was first published at http://secularjournalists.blogspot.com/2013/06/ishrat-jahan-case-naked-support-to.html ]
(The writer is the author of book “Gujarat Riots: The True Story” which gives all details about the 2002 riots- Godhra and after, one of the admins of www.gujaratriots.com and one of the admins of the Twitter handle @gujaratriotscom)