July 04, 2013

Ishrat's diary shows LeT links: Gujarat police

By Our Special Correspondent

AHMEDABAD, JUNE 20. The Gujarat police today claimed that Ishrat Jahan Raza, who was killed in a police shootout here on Tuesday along with three other alleged terrorists, was working as "secretary" to Javed Sheikh who was driving the car.

According to the Additional Police Commissioner (Crime Branch), D.G. Vanjhara, the diary recovered from Ishrat's bag after the shootout revealed her links with the terrorists. Police called the statements made by Ishrat's mother, Shamima Raza, before the media after taking her daughter's body to Mumbra in Thane, a "lie". What she revealed before the Ahmedabad police during questioning corroborated some of the facts mentioned in the diary.

She had told police that Javed lived in Mumbra for about three years in the late 1990s during which time they had "family relations." Javed later left for Dubai where he came into contact with the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba agents and after his return, operated as its co-ordinator in India. He had taken Ishrat into confidence. She worked as a "cover" and secretary.

Ishrat maintained in her diary an account of the funds received through Javed for various terrorist activities. She had noted down that she received Rs. 4.8 lakhs, of which she paid Rs. 1.06 lakhs to Salim, alias Bunty, one of the two Pakistani nationals killed in the encounter. Police recovered Rs. 2.06 lakhs in Indian currency from the car involved in the shootout.

Mr. Vanjhara said that Ishrat along with Javed had earlier come to Ahmedabad twice and the last time they came here, on May 13, they stayed at the Shivganga hotel. They visited Gandhinagar to study the movements of the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, the security arrangements around his residence and his offices and the routes he took to reach the Secretariat. Police have seized the register of the hotel.

During the last month, Salim had been staying at Ishrat's residence in Mumbra and her mother was aware of his identity. Contrary to what she told the media, she had admitted before police that Ishrat had left home with Javed at least twice earlier. She had stayed away for about seven days at one time. Ishrat had told her mother that she had gone to Lucknow and stayed with Javed's relatives.

Mr. Vanjahara said that police had recovered proof of "oral, written and circumstantial evidences" to establish Ishrat's relationship with Javed and their close links with the alleged Pakistani terrorists

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