The Ishrat Jahan controversy took a new turn on Monday with a 51-page home ministry file on the case that was released, and which reportedly showed that former home minister P Chidambaram had signed the original affidavit describing the Mumbra teen as part of a Lashkar module.
Chidambaram had claimed earlier this year, that the first affidavit was filed without his permission or knowledge
The file, which was accessed by Times Now and its deputy news editor Prema Sridevi, showed that Chidambaram approved the original affidavit as well as the second one, which was amended within two months.
While the first affidavit had said Ishrat Jahan was a LeT operative and there was a terror plot to kill Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, the second affidavit did not touch on both points.
The channel also added that the document proved that Chidambaram had amended the file bypassing the Attorney General and the Home Secretary.
The revelation set off a political storm, as Chidambaram had earlier claimed that the first affidavit was ambiguous and that it was filed without his approval, which is what prompted the amendment.
Following this, the BJP on Monday hit out against the Congress and Chidambaram.
"You underplayed a terror plot that could eliminate (Modi). You are clearly admitting that you cannot fight this politically. So eliminate or allow to eliminate or encourage elimination of the leader who you are mortified of fighting politically," Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
"Sonia Gandhi worked actively on this theory. That is why she went to town saying an encounter has happened as though there was no intelligence information stating that there was terror plot. They wanted to quietly watch the terror plot bloom to eliminate a political opponent....a very serious fallout is the way this country's intelligence and counter intelligence have been weakened"
The Congress in its response, alleged there were deliberate attempts to dilute the basic issue of fake encounters.
"The issue was whether it was a fake or genuine encounter. The court has held that it was a fake encounter... Now reports are being planted to dilute the main issue," party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.
Recent claims by former home secretary G K Pillai, former undersecretary in the home ministry RVS Mani, and former joint director Rajendra Kumar on the deposition by LeT operative David Headley suggested that an affidavit was filed on the basis of inputs from Maharashtra and Gujarat Police besides the Intelligence Bureau that named the 19-year-old girl from the outskirts of Mumbai as a terror threat.
A second affidavit, which officials claimed to have been drafted by Chidambaram, said there was no conclusive evidence to prove that Ishrat was a terrorist.