CBI underplaying Lashkar role in Ishrat case: BJP

New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) On a day when the CBI said the Ishrat Jahan shootout in Gujarat was staged, the BJP Wednesday blamed the agency for underplaying terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) role and accused the central government of playing with the nation’s security.

“The CBI charge sheet underplays the role of LeT, and certainly indicts the Indian security apparatus,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.

“The CBI’s silence on the background and nature of activities in which these people were involved raises more questions than answers. The CBI could not even describe who these people were who were accompanying Ishrat Jahan,” she said.

“They were people with terrorist links, more than 20 odd calls had been made through satellite phone to terrorists,” Sitharaman added.

The BJP alleged that the central government had influenced the CBI report.

“It is a matter of the safety of the country and the centre should not play politics on terrorism,” she said.

The CBI has filed its first charge sheet on the alleged shootout in which Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed by Gujarat Police nine years ago.

Declaring that Ishrat was not a terrorist, the CBI said that three others killed in the same alleged shootout June 15, 2004 were suspected of terror links.

Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Shaikh, Amjad ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, who were killed in the incident in addition to Ishrat, were allegedly planning terror attacks in Ahmedabad.

In its chargesheet, the agency named policemen P.P. Pande, A. Choudhary, D.G. Vanzare, Tarun Barot, J.R. Parmar and N.K. Amin among the accused.

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