The death of Ishrat Jahan and Laskar model campaign

via Reghunath Damodaran published on December 21, 2011

Translation of the article published in Kesari Weekly by Murali Parappuram

The single sided and baseless reporting of the Gujarat High court order in connection with the S.I.T. (Special Investigation Team) report on Ishrat Jahan case confirms Justice Markhandey Katju’s criticism on the media; he said media is not only misleading the people but also dividing them. What S.I.T. found was “the police encounter” where Ishrat Jahan,  Javed Sheikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Sishan Johar were killed was not genuine. The division bench consists of Justice Jayanth Patel and Abhilasha Kumari accepted the S.I.T. report and directed Gujarat Government to file a new FIR based on IPC section 302 against the accused Police personnel.

Any legally literate would understand that these are part of legal proceedings. A section of media was not ready to be contented with this. They used the court order as a tactical campaign material to mislead the people just because the accused was Gujarat Police. They heavily relied on the family members of Ishrat Jahan and Gopinathan Pillai the father of Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai for this.

The whole family of Ishrat Jahan said “the stain on Ishrat and her family’s honour is finally washed away” [1].  “We all knew that Ishrat was innocent. Now the truth is clear. I am happy with that.” Shamima Kauser the mother of Ishrat  Jahan told; or the media made her to say.
“I firmly believe that, the police is telling lie about my son. Associating with any kind of terrorist activists was not his character. Now it is proved that I was true.”  – said the father of Muslim converted Pranesh Pillai.

The grief of the parents who lost their children can be understood, but what happens here is something else. Some media is behaving irresponsibly in the wake of the court order, treating it as an opportunity they were waiting for. When the court rejected the bail application of former Gujarat minister Amit Shah, some media reported as if the court already had convicted him. When High court declared a verdict on the issue where the Gujarat Governor appointed Lokayukta without consulting the state government, most of the media treated it as a breaking news as “Verdict against Gujarat Government”. Actually the verdict was to move the petition to a bigger bench, but the media’s version came as “Setback to Modi”! When the court granted bail to some of the Malegav case accused, it was reported and discussed in the media as they were set free.

In case of Ishrat Jahan case when the court asked for a new F.I.R, the media was deliberately trying to project and propagate it as if the Gujarat High Court had acquitted Ishrat Jahan and others from all terrorism related charges. In fact, the three member Special Investigation Team headed by the IPS officer Rajiv Ranjan Varma from Bihar Cadre, submitted the investigation report before the court in a sealed cover. Justice Patel, who did not disclose the content of the report, mentioned that encounter in which Jahan was killed was not genuine. He also pointed out that, the four were killed not at the “place and date” claimed by the state police. Based on this, some media reported that the High court declared verdict on the case as Ishrat and others were not terrorists and the accused police officers were guilt.

The terrorists would not become innocent, even if the court proclaims that the encounter was fraudulent and the police officers are guilt based on further investigations. Here the basic issue is, who was Ishrat Jahan and her companions and what was the circumstance under which they were killed.

Ishrat Jahan was a BSc second year student from Mumbai. Pranesh Pillai who converted to Islam to become Javed Sheikh was from Kerala. He also lived in Mumbai. Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Joher were from Pakistan. If you inspect the situation in which the people of different countries joined together and the motive of their travel to Gujarat, the picture would be different. Whatever Gopinathan Pillai and Shamima Kauser says about their children might be sincere, but need not be true. No one wants to be known as the father or mother of a terrorist.  But the children, who transformed to terrorists, do not care about their parent’s dignity or pride. Muslim terrorists proclaim that, they would not hesitate to make explosion in a market even if their mother or father went there to buy vegetables.

The comments made by the Ex. Home Secretary G. K. Pillai on the next day of Gujarat High Court‘s acceptance of S.I.T report exposes the false propaganda of the people with vested interests. Mr. Pillai had told CNN-IBN that from the evidence available, it had been clear that Ishrat and others were involved in suspicious activities. “Ishrat used to live with another man in different hotels, which definitely was suspicious”. He also said that the SIT report was not a comment on whether Ishrat was a terrorist or not. “The SIT only said that from the evidence available, it was found out that the encounter was fake, but there was no word on whether Ishrat and other were alleged terrorists or not,” Pillai said[2].

In the interview Mr. Pillai revealed one more decisive information. “The Lashkar-e-Toiba had declared her a martyr in their website but later removed it” he said [2].

Due to these reasons, it is not possible to give a face value to the comments of the Ishrat’s mother, or Javed’ father. The Lashkar relationship of Ishrat reveals the secret agenda of the media in a way. The anti-Gujarat media intentionally avoided querying why Ishrat was declared a Lashkar martyr first, but later removed from their website. Admitting the Lashkar links of Ishrat and others would decrease the value of their false campaign against Gujarat government and police. Even though the relationship of Ishrat with Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba has been disclosed by official sources, some media and human rights activists are not all ready to look at it further, which is nothing but creating darkness by closing eyes. Mr. G K. Pillai also revealed that the central Intelligence Bureau had informed Gujarat police regarding her terrorist links [3].

The terrorist David Coleman Headley, formerly known as Daood Sayed Gilani, who conspired with Lashkar-e-Taiba[5] [6] to launch the 2008 Mumbai attacks and other terrorist activities revealed to the NIA that Ishrat was a suicide bomber of Lashkar[4]. The congress government which uses the SIT report as a beating stick against Gujarat government is keeping complete silence on all these facts. All these incidents once again prove that, the Congress is ready to support even terrorists in order to get the favor and support of the Muslim vote bank.

In fact, there was nothing new in the SIT investigation report submitted at the High court. The judicial commission which held investigation on this issue in the year 2009 also had come to the same conclusion. It is to be noted that even the judicial commission did not mention that Ishrat and companions were not terrorists. Now, based on these two reports the true information should come out. How the Lashkar terrorists reached Gujarat, what was their motive, how they got killed, etc. the truth of all these things should come out. The current campaign using the S.I.T. report seems be a committed and pre-planned effort to forcefully deviate the investigation from these angles.

The court order for new FIR was treated as the third victory by Ishrat’s family. In 2007 Jama-at-Udva the main stream wing of Laskar-e-Taiba declared that Ishrat was not a member of their organization. Ishrat’s sister views that also as a victory! (Jama-at-Udva had a major role in the Mumbai terrorist attacks, but the Pakistan government was not ready to ban it saying “no clear evidence”.)  Ishrat Jahan who got killed in 2004 was officially declared as Lashkar’s martyr but later the reference was removed from their website to cleverly utilize sentiments built around the issue in India. Those who expect the Indian judiciary to treat all these developments as evidence to prove the innocence of Ishrat and companions will definitely get disappointed. The removal of Ishrat’s name from Lashkar website was to give strength to the terrorist movement in India. This was definitely a part of a dangerous joint operation, and what happens now is its continuation using the SIT report.

References
1)http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_ishrat-was-a-martyr-not-a-terrorist_1616006
2)http://ibnlive.in.com/news/let-website-called-ishrat-a-martyr-gk-pillai/204739-3.html
3)http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ishrat-jahan-was-part-of-let-terror-module-gk-pillai/1/161264.html
4)http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/ishrat-jahan-was-an-let-suicide-bomber-headley-to-nia-35665
5)http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/us/17plea.html
6)http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/key-witness-in-chicago-trial-offers-more-details-on-2008-mumbai-attacks/2011/05/24/AFJeXpAH_story.html

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