Rajnath clarifies on Ishrat missing papers panel

The purpose of setting up an inquiry panel to find the missing files related to the encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan was not to implicate anyone but to recover the documents, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday amid the controversy over the officer conducting the probe having allegedly tutored a witness.
“The inquiry committee was set up not to implicate anyone but to find the missing files,” he said in Ahmedabad, amidst allegations that the NDA government set up the panel to find faults in the previous UPA government.
The Home Minister, however, refused to comment on the news report that the inquiry officer, Additional Secretary B K Prasad, tutored one of the key witnesses before taking his statement on the missing files.
Asked what will be the next course of action of the government as the panel has submitted its report, Singh said he was yet to go through its contents and will take a view only after talking to all people concerned.
In its report, the inquiry panel has said that only one missing document of the five related to the Ishrat Jahan case has been found.
The inquiry panel, which submitted its report last week, has concluded that the papers were “removed knowingly or unknowingly or misplaced” in September, 2009, a period when Congress leader P Chidambaram was the Home Minister.
The inquiry panel, however, made no reference to Chidambaram or anyone in the then UPA government.
Based on the statements of 11 serving and retired officers, including the then Home Secretary G K Pillai, the report said the documents went missing between September 18 and 28, 2009.
Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an alleged staged encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
The Gujarat Police had claimed those killed were LeT terrorists and planned to assassinate the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

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