Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley said on Wednesday Mumbra resident Ishrat Jahan was a suicide bomber of the Pakistani terror outfit, potentially igniting a fresh row around the controversial 2004 encounter that killed the 19-year-old woman. A police encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad killed Ishrat – a college student in western Maharashtra’s Mumbra — and three others with authorities claiming she was on a mission to kill then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. David Headley, told the special court here that Major Iqbal gave Headley $25,000 before he left for Mumbai.
Headley, currently lodged in a U.S. prison, has been deposing as an approver through a video link in the November 2008 terror attacks case. But alleged inconsistencies in the police version of the events triggered an uproar. In 2009, Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate SP Tamang calls the encounter fake. The next year, the Gujarat high court ordered an inquiry into the incident. Subsequent probes by the Central Bureau of Investigation and a special investigation team found no connection between the dead and LeT.
Headley also said Pakistani spy agency Inter Services Intelligence sponsored his India trips to search for potential terror targets, going back on an earlier statement denying any such payments.
Here are some important highlights from today’s deposition:
- Headley tells court that Ishrat Jehan was a suicide bomber of LeT.19-year-old college girl Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in 2004 in an encounter by cops in Gujarat. The four were accused of being involved in a plot to assassinate the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Read more
- LeT handler Sajid Mir gave Headley Rs 40,000 Pakistani Rupees.
- Then Major Iqbal gave Rs 3500 and also gave Headley counterfeit Indian currency once or twice.
- Major Pasha also gave him Rs 80,000.
- The RBI rejected Headley’s application to open an office in A/C market.
- Headley paid Rs 13,500 per month as rent in 2006.
- Dr Tahuvurr Rana (was dr in military) who came to receive Headley and helped opened the office knew of his involvement with LeT.
- Headley advised Dr Rana to leave Mumbai and return back to USA before the attacks.
- Major Iqbal told Headley to vacate the office in January 2009.