oppn parties Branding Ishrat Jahan "Shahid" is Shameful & Obnoxious

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  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
  • Searching for Rajeev Kumar, ex-CP, Kolkata Police, the CBI approaches state DGP to know about his whereabouts
  • Ferry overturns in the river Godavari in Andhra. 46 feared dead
  • Supreme Court to hear pleas on Jammu & Kashmir today
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad moves Supreme Court for ordering the government to allow him to visit his family in J&K
  • GST Council meeting to focus on leakages and evasions, expected to tighten processes, especially regarding input tax credit
  • Finance minister, citing figures for July 2019, says that industrial production and fixed investment is showing signs of revival
  • Amit Shah's comment on Hindi as the unifying language draws the ire of MK Stalin and Siddaramaiah. Stalin says the country is India not Hindia
  • On Hindi Diwas today, Amit Shah says use of mother language must be increased but Hindi should be adopted as the common language of the country
  • Pakistan raises white flag on LoC to claim bodies of dead soldiers
  • India beat Bangladesh by 5 runs to lift the U-19 Asia Cup
  • A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court will examine the amendments to the SC/ST act made after an apex court order that 'diluted' the provisions and which were reinstatd by the amendment
  • Delhi government decides to re-implement the odd-even system of traffic management from November 4 to 15
  • UP to discontinue law that allows the state government to pay the income tax dues of ministers
  • Anand Sharma of the Congress to replace P Chidambaram on the parliamentary committee on home affairs
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Branding Ishrat Jahan "Shahid" is Shameful & Obnoxious

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Rubbishing Headley's Testimony
Is David Headley a compulsive liar and a turncoat who has used several government and terrorist organizations like CIA, FBI, NIA, ISI and LeT to further his own ends, as claimed by Adrian Levy, who co-authored the book The Siege: The Attack on the Taj? That would be crediting the man with a kind of intelligence that he obviously does not possess and saying that master interrogators from security agencies across the world are fools. It also creates a very low image of ISI and LeT, organizations that are known to detect, pursue and eliminate turncoats or betrayers in a cold-blooded and clinical manner. As things unfold, we see that it is not only the Pakistanis who will rubbish Headley’s testimony – there are enough Indians who will cast a doubt too.

Is Headley's deposition admissible?
Having said this, two further things emerge from the questioning of public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. Was he leading the witness? When Headley said that he did not know of any female suicide bomber, was it proper for Nikam to give him several names to choose from in the manner of game show KBC (as pointed out by Ishrat Jahan’s lawyer Vrinda Grover)? In itself, this act of Nikam can amount to leading the witness. But when juxtaposed with the two paragraphs that were deleted by the UPA government from the original deposition of Headley conducted by NIA in the US, they seem perfectly admissible.

Why did UPA delete two paragraphs from original NIA report?
Headley had talked about an Ishrat Jahan module in those paragraphs in that deposition. The paragraphs were conveniently deleted by the UPA government to strengthen the case against the then Gujarat home minister Amit Shah and chief minister Narendra Modi. Mind you, one is not taking sides in the alleged encounter of Ishrat Jahan – fake or otherwise. The courts will decide on that. One is just pointing out the fact that what is now being considered hearsay evidence was in fact on the records a long time ago. Hence, it is not wrong to shake the memory of a witness to find out if he remembers what he had said several years back. In any case, the current deposition was being made in front of a judge and if he considers it inadmissible, he will strike it out. It is not for us, or even the defending lawyer, to say it is hearsay.

Vote Bank politics makes Ishrat a "shahid"
The question is what was a 19 year old college girl from Mumbai doing with known terrorists and charge-sheeted criminals? If one is known by the company one keeps, Ishrat Jahan was could not be considered as innocent. In this whole case, the most shameful thing is that some national political parties had taken a stand at that time that elevated Ishrat to the status of a martyr. Playing politics in case of suspected terrorists has grave consequences for national security. It drives a wedge between communities. The picture accompanying this article proves that the policies of the Congress at that time – of saying that Ishrat was not a terrorist and she was killed in a fake encounter – had made her “shahid” for some. In India, we call a person “shahid” only, and only if, he or she had died defending the country. It is shameful that suspected terrorists are also given this tag only because some politicians find building vote banks more attractive than upholding the nation’s honour.