29 May 2016 National

Officer Probing Ishrat Missing Files Gets Two Months Extension

Senior IAS officer B K Prasad, who is heading the probe into the missing files related to the alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan, has got two months extension in service till July this year.

Prasad, a 1983 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was due to retire on May 31.

Prasad, an Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry, is granted extension in service for a period of two months with effect from June 1, 2016 to July 31, an official order said without mentioning the reason behind it.

Official sources said the extension has been given to help the Home Ministry decide on future course of action on the findings of the one-man probe panel headed by Prasad. The report is to be submitted before this month end.

The panel has not been able to trace the missing documents so far, they said.

Following an uproar in Parliament in March this year, the Home Ministry had asked Prasad to inquire into the whole matter.

19-year-old Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat in 2004. The Gujarat Police had then said those killed were LeT terrorists and had come to Gujarat to assassinate the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The papers which disappeared from the Home Ministry include the copy of an affidavit vetted by the then Attorney General and submitted in the Gujarat High Court in 2009 and the draft of the second affidavit, also vetted by the AG, on which changes were made by the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

There was a huge controversy over the affidavit after it came to light that Chidambaram had changed the affidavit, which originally described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives.

Two letters written by former Home Secretary G K Pillai to the then Attorney General late G E Vahanvati and the copy of the draft affidavit are also missing.

Prasad was recently embroiled in a controversy after an Under Secretary in the Home Ministry's Foreigners Division accused him of pressuring him to give clean chit to Ford Foundation, which allegedly violated provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. Prasad has denied the allegation.

 

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PEOPLE: Ishrat Jahan
TAGS: Civil Services - IAS etcEncounters
SECTION: National
OUTLOOK 29 May, 2016