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MHA lodges FIR in Ishrat missing files case

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New Delhi: The Home Ministry has lodged an FIR in connection with the missing documents related to the controversial Ishrat Jahan ‘fake encounter’ case, a move that might escalate political slugfest between BJP and Congress.

An Under Secretary serving in the Home Ministry has filed the FIR at the Parliament Street Police station here under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of the Indian Penal Code asking police to probe “why, how and under what circumstances” five documents related to the case went missing.

The move came after an inquiry panel, headed by an Additional Secretary, 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.

Only one paper out of the five documents related to the controversial alleged Ishrat fake encounter case that went missing from the Home Ministry was found, said the inquiry panel, which submitted its report on June 15 after a three- month-long investigation.

The inquiry panel, however, made no reference to Chidambaram or anyone in the then UPA government.

The FIR was lodged under “stolen” category of police station register on September 22 following a communication sent to the Delhi Police Commissioner on August 26.

Based on the statements of 11 serving and retired officers, including the then Home Secretary G K Pillai, the 52 -page inquiry panel report had said the documents went missing between September 18-28, 2009.

The second affidavit, which was different from the first one, and filed before Gujarat High Court on September 29, 2009, had said there was no conclusive evidence to suggest that Ishrat was an LeT operative.

The papers which went missing and listed in the FIR are office copy of the letter and enclosure sent by the then Home Secretary to the then Attorney General on September 18, 2009, office copy of another letter sent by the then Home Secretary to the then AG on September 18, 2009, draft further affidavit as vetted by the then AG, draft further affidavit “as amended” by the then Home Minister on September 24, 2009 and office copy of the further affidavit filed with the Gujarat High Court on September 29, 2009.

The paper which was retrieved from a computer hard disk was the letter sent by the then Home Secretary to the then AG on September 18, 2009.

The lodging of the FIR is expected to escalate political slugfest between BJP and Congress as the former had accused the latter of lowering the fight against terror by filing the second affidavit during UPA regime.

Congress had hit back in the past by saying the BJP-led government was politicising the issue after assuming power in 2014.

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