Monday, December 14, 2015

Paragraphs "planted" in NIA report to prove Ishrat Jahaan was LET mole involved in 2004 plot to assassinate Modi

By Pratik Sinha*
David Headley, the Pakistani American who scouted targets for the 26/11 terror attack by the Lashar-e-Toiba (LET), has been news for turning into an approver. He has also been news regarding the Ishrat Jahaan case, with a section of the media highlighting, on the basis of information provided by powerful sections in New Delhi, how Headley had said that Ishrat was an LET mole.
In fact, efforts are being made to refer to how sections of paragraphs related to Headley's confession, in which he had claimed that Ishrat was an LET mole, were “dropped” from the final National Investigative Agency (NIA) report. Ishrat, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbra, Mumbai, was killed in what is known to be a fake encounter on June 15, 2004. It was alleged that she was part of a plot to kill Narendra Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat.
But there has been little effort to analyze what exactly do these paragraphs actually say.
Paragraph168 said, on being asked about Ishrat Jahaan, Headley stated: “In late 2005 Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi introduced Muzzammil to me. Having introduced Muzzammil, Zaki talked about the accomplishments of Muzzammil as a Lashkar commander. Zaki also sarcastically mentioned that Muzzammil was a top commander whose every big ‘project’ had ended in a failure.
“Zaki added that Ishrat Jahaan module was also one of the Muzzammil’s botched up operations.”
Paragraph 169 quotes Headley as saying that “apart from this he had no other information/knowledge about Ishrat Jahaan.”
Here, as one can see, Headley claims he had been introduced by Zaki Ur Rehman Lakhvi to Muzammil in 2005. Muzammil was one of the Mumbai bomb blast masterminds. It is during this introduction that Lakhvi repotedly told Headley that Ishrat Jahaan's module was Muzammil's.
One can note here that Headley claims that he was introduced to Muzammil in 2005, which essentially means that Headley had never met Muzammil prior to that.
Now let us see what do two other paragraphs, 17th and 28th from the NIA report, have to say.
In paragraph 17, Headley is quoted as saying that he met Muzammil in 2002: “In the year 2002. I met Muzzammil Butt, a Kashmiri in Muzaffarabad. Abu Dujana introduced me to Muzzammil. Muzzammil and Abu Dujana had stayed together in Kashmir. Muzzammil is very important operative of LeT. He was Involved in a series of attacks on Indian security forces when he was in Kashmir.
“I recollect that once Muzzammil had told me how he had gone and killed civilians in a village in South Kashmir before the visit of the then US president Bill Clinton to India. After coming to Muzaffarabad, he was initially given the charge of the India operations.”
Paragraph 28 on post-training activities in Pakistan says, “On and around August 2004, I met Zaki and requested him to change my handler as I was not comfortable with Yaqoob. Zaki then handed me over to Muzzammil, Abdur Rehamn was also working in Muzzammil’s set up…
“Then in 2004 Muzzammil again introduced me to Sajid at safe house in Muzzaffarabad. Sajid got married around three years ago. I also attended the marriage.”
As one can see, In paragraph 28, Headley claims that in August 2004, he requested Zaki to change his handler and he was handed over to Muzammil, and that Muzammil introduced him to one Sajid in a safe house in Muzzaffarabad.
Clearly, Headley, therefore, could not have been introduced for the first time to Muzammil in late 2005 by Lakhvi when he already knew him since 2002. This glaring discrepancy in the paragraphs, where Headley talks about Ishrat Jahaan and Paragraphs 17 and 28 from the original report clearly show that Headley's Ishrat Jahaan confession was a plant.
Most likely, since these paragraphs were not in consonance with the facts in rest of the report and would have compromised rest of the report, they were dropped.
IB was facing a lot of heat on Ishrat Jahaan, and when IB wants things to happen, they find their way.
One can safely presume that these two paragraphs were planted, and are part of a bigger exercise to save two top ruling political leaders from Gujarat, who are alleged to have ordered these murders and their henchmen.
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*Gujarat-based human rights activist. Click HERE to download NIA report

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