UPA 'conspired' to defame Modi in Ishrat case: Rajnath

PTI3_10_2016_000023B Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Home Minister Rajnath Singh after a Cabinet meeting at Parliament house in New Delhi | PTI

Home Minister Rajnath Singh accused the previous UPA government of hatching a conspiracy to malign the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and his government in Ishrat Jahan case.

"The affidavit was changed to malign the Gujarat government, the then chief minister. A conspiracy was hatched to drag him into the case."

Rajnath Singh said that government was not relying solely on the testimony of Headley - a Lashkar operative who scouted terror targets before the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Headley is currently in a US jail from where he was questioned by an Indian magistrate last month through videoconferencing. The Pakistani-American terrorist said he had heard his LeT handlers talk about a girl in India named Ishrat.

The controversy over the case flared up again after Headley made the startling claim on February 11 this year about the 2004 Gujarat encounter -- the already murky Ishrat Jahan case has become even murkier.

'UPA gave communal colour to terrorism'

Rajnath Singh alleged that the previous government had tried to give a political and communal colour to terrorism in India and reminded the Congress of the "saffron terror" label given to describe acts of violence allegedly committed by Hindu nationalists.

"Saffron terror was the previous government's term. Colour, creed and religion are not linked to terrorism. They gave a communal colour to terrorism. This is opportunistic secularism."

He said that the whole world was battling "the menace of terrorism" and "there should not be politics over it".

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