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IB’s desperate and dirty tricks to scuttle the Ishrat Jahan investigation

June 19, 2013

This is a press statement put out on 14 June 2013 by a group of individuals whose names are given at the end.

It is a clear indication of the desperation being felt by the IB establishment as the heat turns on its senior officers in the Ishrat Jahan probe, that they are down to doing what they do best: use pliant sections of the media to plant stories to deflect scrutiny and create a favourable public mood.  Following the summons issued to IB Special Director Rajender Kumar by the CBI (which is probing the case on the direction of the Gujarat High Court), the IB Director first sought to sell the familiar old story of ‘investigation will hit the morale of the IB’ – it seems as though a blanket immunity from any scrutiny and accountability is the only guarantee of IB morale.  The IB then ran complaining to the Prime Minister; and when nothing worked, it used the agency’s tried and tested trick of enlisting the support of discredited ‘journalists’. 

The 24-hour news channel Headlines Today aired tapes of telephone conversations between alleged key operatives involved in the supposed assassination plot to eliminate Narendra Modi. Suggestions have also been made in a story in the Firstpost that the interrogation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation of David Headley has revealed Ishrat Jahan’s active involvement with the Lashkar e-Toiba.

Timing of the Telecast:

The tapes were aired less than 24 hours before a court hearing was scheduled in the Ishrat Jahan Case. The mischievous intent of the leaks and the telecast became clear when the Additional Advocate General of Gujarat Tushar Mehta arrived in the court with the two CDs and insisted that the court see these CDs, which according to him, would prove that the course of CBI investigation was wrong. The Court refused to place these CDs on record, asking the AG to hand this over to the relevant agency. The attempt was to undercut the investigation probing the conspiracy hatched by the officers of Crime Branch in eliminating Ishrat and three others by somehow tainting them with the terror tag. The Court put it in perspective, reminding the AG that no one could be killed in cold blood – and indeed that is what the CBI was investigating.

More than resolving issues, these so-called revelations have in fact raised more questions:

–       Why are these tapes leaked to the press selectively now –when investigators are closing in on Rajender Kumar?

–       Why have these tapes not been placed before magistrate Tamang whose enquiry in 2009 concluded that Ishrat and others were killed in cold blood?

–       Why were the tapes not placed before the SIT in 2011, which similarly reached the conclusion that the encounter had been staged?

–       Did the IB provide any inputs to the Maharashtra government that local modules of Lashkar were residing in the state?

–       Given that telephone transcripts are said to be referring to four other targets apart from Narendra Modi, with how many states and agencies did IB share the inputs?

–       What are the exact dates when these telephone calls were recorded?

–       How do we believe that the ‘sasural’ being referred to in the telephone conversations means Ishrat’s home, given that there is no reference to Ishrat, or even to a woman operative?

–       How many times did Rajender Kumar meet with Ahmedabad Commissioner of Police, Kaushik, apart from once ‘orally’ informing about the intelligence lead?

–       Has the IB seen the NIA interrogation report of the terrorist double agent David Headley? It makes no reference to any Ishrat Jahan.

–       Did Rajender Kumar have a premonition about Headley who was interrogated in 2010, when he was ‘orally’ conveying the intelligence inputs to Ahmedabad Commissioner of Police in 2004?

–       How are FBI reports being cited by everyone from IB chief to sundry ‘investigative journalists’ given that former Minister of Home Affairs had said that the US had been less than willing to share information on Headley with India?

One could ask several questions of the media too which chooses to air telephone calls without any forensic tests or voice tests, asking us simply to believe them because ‘they have been working on the story”.  One could tell them that being the IB’s chosen one for their dirty tricks is not something to be particularly proud of. One could tell them also that the business of investigative journalism demands that you be critical and cynical of letters that IB chiefs write –and then leak at very crucial stage of investigation. And most of all, one could also ask them to refrain from grandly declaring telephone tapes as “Ishrat Jahan terror tapes”, especially if she is neither a caller nor being referred to in those tapes. But since there is no point in talking of ethics to those who compromise knowingly, we shall not.

However, the IB must answer all these questions. It cannot hide behind its flagging morale and continue to remain unaccountable to the Indian people.  It cannot pretend to be above the law of the land? Why is it fighting off any investigation, trying to scuttle the interrogation of the Special Director IB?


Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD), Manisha Sethi, Ahmed Sohaib, Sanghamitra Misra and Ambarien Alqadar (JTSA), Mansi Sharma (Activist), Mahtab Alam (Activist), Ajit Sahi (Journalist), Sukumar Muralidharan (Journalist), Amit Sengupta (journalist), Jawed Naqvi (journalist), Azam Khan (Activist), Kavita Srivastav (PUCL), Harsh Mander (writer and activist), Sheba George (Activist), Syed Zafar Mehdi (Journalist/ blogger), Anuradha Chenoy (Academic), Harsh Kapoor (Activist), Vineet Tiwari (Activist), Sandeep Singh (AISA), Bhasha (Journalist), Navaid Hamid (NIC) and many others

Released on 14th June 2013

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Pankaj Butalia permalink
    June 19, 2013 2:40 PM

    Disgusting. These channels do it again and again. They did the same when the Parliament Bomb Case was to come up in court (That was Zee) and now they’ve done it in the Ishrat case. There should be some recourse against this.

  2. June 19, 2013 2:48 PM

    If IB can be sold to such communal politicos, then is there any institution other than SC believable in India ???

  3. Nakshab permalink
    June 19, 2013 3:31 PM

    IB establishment is run by people of communal mindset (and please dont remind me that today’s IB chief is a Muslim). And why their so-called morale is hit whenever their wrongdoings are exposed?????

    • Tanweer permalink
      June 20, 2013 2:36 AM

      Don’t bother yourself that IB chief is a muslim. People says Shanwaz and Naqwi is also muslim ;)

  4. A regular Joe permalink
    June 19, 2013 3:46 PM

    If she was not a terrorist and murdered in cold blood I would be concerned, angry and scared. If she was a terrorist and murdered in cold blood, I would just be concerned. However this 180 degree spin in the story every now and then is leaving me confused. Both sides are so convinced with their version and judge me if I do not show “faith” in their version. I believe that’s how apostles would have felt.

    Now I am in a position where I am not being able to trust our institutions and you, the undersigned, I don’t even know you. Such is my plight.

  5. Eric Pinto permalink
    June 20, 2013 12:45 AM

    Anywhere else, channels like Headlines Today and Times Now would have been hauled over the coals for disregarding ethics. The tv media regulator NBA is dysfunctional and the complaint about channels misguiding viewers should have been handled by them. But NBA is silent. Which is why we need a independant regulator comprising citizens, media persons and judges.

  6. Eric Pinto permalink
    June 20, 2013 12:52 AM

    The spin that CBI versus IB on this issue compromises national security is a specious argument. The CBI has had its knuckles rapped by the SC; IB cannnot be above law. Anchors in tv studios need to realise this first. As a BBC Viewer Panel Member I would have been able to impress this upon the BBC. Not so in India where the media throws ethics to the winds.

  7. KS Subramanian permalink
    July 5, 2013 7:56 PM

    I have worked in the IB as well as the MHA. There is a basic difference between the IB and the CBI. The latter is a law-bound organisation functioning under the Special Police Establishment Act, 1948. It conducts its investigations under the the basic criminal laws of thethe the IB land, the IPC, CRPC and the Evidence Act. It has the obligation to prove its assertions in a court of law. This is an arduous task. The IB does not have a legal framework or a charter of duties. It is a secret intellignece agency. It has no obligation to prove its assertions and information. It cannot and does not reveal its sources of information. This is its strength as well as weakness. It can often be factually inaccurate and speculative. The Union Home Ministry to which it is linked as an ‘Attached Office’ is the main recepient of its reports. IB reports cannot be cited in Parliament. Its reports come mainly in two categories,:’Secret’ and ‘Top Secret’. Officers of the MHA often need to verify its information with reports obtained from state governments. These often diffen from the IB reports.
    In my experience in one case of so called Naxalite violence in Bihar, the IB said 12 people were killed in police firing. The state chief secretary who was summoned to the Home Ministry reported that 59 people were killed and not one of them was a naxalite. All were small farmers and agricultural labourers demanding minimum wages. This was confirmed during the visit of a Central Team to Bihar led by Dr.Manmohan Singh, then Member-ecretary Planning Commission. I was a member of the team. The report of the minutes of the meeting with the state chief secretary was clasisifed as Top Secret!

    The basic problem in the MHA is that IB reports are overclassified and cannot be questioned. The IB has its way in providing information which cannot be verified.
    LP Singh former Union Home Secretary tried to overcome the problem by setting up the Research and Policy Division and authorised it collect its won information for policy purposes in the Ministry. I was Director of the Division during 1980-85. Often the Division differed from the IB in its interpretations. Eventually the conflict of information between the two agencies led to the winding up the R&P Division without adequate political support.
    The information crisis in the MHA continues as evident from the recent emergence of Maoist violence in a big way in the Central Tribal Belt (CTB). In the absence of the R&P Division, the MHA has chosen to rely on the IB analysis of the Maoist violence as the bigesst internal security threat and ignore the more important Planning Commission’s Expert Committee report on Development Challenges in Extremist Affected Areas”. This has led to massive depoyment of police forces and the ignoring of underlying development challenges behind the Maoist movement.
    In the present case relating to Ishrat Jahan the CBI stands on stronger ground and must be allowed to investigate the case without interference from the IB and the MHA.Increasingly, however, MHA is becoming the mouthpiece of the IB which is most unfortunate. The newly appointed IB chief appears to be keen to protect his own organisational interest than the imperatives of rule of law. The poor quality of successive Union Home Ministers and Home ecretaries have spelt disaster for the real purposes of the MHA, which is not meant to be a paramilitary agency as it seems to have become!.
    KS Subramanian IPS (Retd) .

  8. TOMSKARA permalink
    July 8, 2013 5:39 PM

    I totally agree to the comments of Mr.KS Subramanian, IPS (Retired), an insider of MHA speaking the truth.Basically the fault lies with MHA functioning as a mouth-piece of IB and committing mistakes after mistakes eroding its credibility. Now it is with the controversial affidavits of the Ministry in Ishrat Jehan case, a couple of years back it was on a fictitious list of wanted terrorists operating from Pakistan. In the infamous ISRO case of 1996,MHA burnt their fingers by forwarding fictitious reports of IB to the then PM even falsely implicating his close relatives. That was the great professionalism of this agency! As rightly pointed out by Subramanian, LP Singh was a great visionary and administrator who made innovative moves to reform our security- intelligence and administrative set up without totally surrendering to the whims and fancies of politicians. Had the Research &Policy Division formed by him in MHA had been strengthened , the MHA and the country should have been saved from many unpleasant tragedies. Ironically that set-up was also strangulated and later buried by IB Stalwarts with the help of the Political Executive. ,The tragedy still continues. In the name of secrecy and national security, IB flouts its own charter. the Constitution, rule of law and due process of law which a democratic country like India can no longer tolerate. It is high time that the Political Executive should take immediate measures to enact proper legislation to ensure the accountability and transparency of intelligence agencies without yielding to the pressure tactics and dirty games being played by IB in the name of operational secrecy or the morale of the organization. There should not be any leniency in bringing the real culprits of IB in ishrat Jehan case.

  9. K V Krishna Kumar permalink
    February 20, 2014 7:50 PM

    Dirty tricks of IB not only towards Ishrat Jahan etc but also towards small employees of the Intelligence Bureau. In 1993 , the Bureau of Immigration Chennai termed a female impersonator as a female passenger and alleged Madras Airport Immigration custodial rape converted into molestation . Further, the travel documents of alleged impersonator etc. were dishonestly concealed without disclosing her identity. The entire case documents are available with me to expose the dirty tricks of Bureau of Immigration , Madras under Subsidiiary Intelligence Bureau, Madras/ Intelligence ureau, New Delhi..

  10. KV THOMAS permalink
    February 21, 2014 9:59 AM

    So long as accountability is not ensured in the functioning of IB, they would resort to all dirty tricks in name of National security. But, the truth is that senior bosses backed by born sycophant subordinates resort to such illegal,unconstitutional and unethical practices to promote their career and ensure post retirement assignments by pleasing the political masters in power irrespective of their ideology or policies and program mes. It is an open truth that almost all ex directors and those in second command got gubernatorial or equally important assignments after their retirement. Do Indians are so fools that these guys are the only species fit to hold such posts? Some of them were notorious in their professional and personal life. Whether NDA or UPA, these political bosses use them for political mileage and to win the elections. In that process professionalism and legal parameters of the organization take nose-dive. Who is concerned in this degeneration? Only a handful of honest citizens. Their voice falls in wilderness. Sometimes past a young Congress MP brought a private bill to enact the rights, privileges and accountability of IB personnel, but the bill had not come for serious discussions and was withdrawn almost endorsed by all parties. I wonder whether Rahul Gandhi was not aware of such matters in the party which brings discredit to the organization.? Only the vigilant public and a sensitive and unbiased judiciary can do something to correct the degeneration of organizations like IB. The political masters irrespective of their ism or color will never move their fingers for reforming organizations like IB by bringing it transparent or accountable as had done by the best democracies in the west and other countries like Australia, Philippines etc.

  11. K V Krishna Kumar permalink
    February 27, 2014 9:57 AM

    The general public started hating and lost faith in Intelligence Bureau headed by insignificant IPS deputationsist fellows ruling in the roost with assistance from their political bosses as the culture manifests itself in the chauvinism, misuse of money, corrupt practices including moral turpitude and silencing of critics. Criticism from public against Intelligence Bureau was more evident after alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan etc. No Government professing to be democratic and committed to the principle of the rule of law, should have allowed Intelligence Bureau to stage a fake encounter on the alleged flimsy charges now made public in alleged Ishrat Jahan fake encounter killing.. It is unfair and foolish to think that the present Union Government have will or determination to punish the guilty in Intelligence Bureau under Min9istry of Home Affairs..

  12. K V Krishna Kumar permalink
    March 6, 2014 10:48 PM

    There is true documents of IB’s dirty tricks from suspension to reinstatement . These are extracts from the inquiry proceedings of Bureau of Immigration, Madras ; Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau, Madras and Intelligence Bureau, New Delhi. I am confident that with fuller contents , will evoke a wider response from all over the country prove alert and appreciative eye of our people for truth and justice.

    Justice therefore demands that all facts be placed before the public for their impartial scrutiny. It is to meet that demand that the historic biased suspension, historic biased inquiry proceedings, removal from service , reinstatement into service with another three penalties by Bureau of Immigration, Madras; Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau, Madras and Intelligence Bureau, New Delhi during those crucial time need to be complied with some of the statements in Tamil . Certain connected materials is also need to be furnished as Appendix. These will, I am sure , lay bare the true picture of the dirty tricks of Intelligence Bureau towards small employees like me. .

  13. March 29, 2014 2:09 AM

    On 29.9.93 night one ‘Ms S Rani, D/o Sellam ‘ allegedly arrived Madras Airport and was allegedly picked up Mr D Ramachandran Nair, then Immigration Officer, Madras Airport for interrogation and handing her over to police for impersonation in her passport.. She alleged that she was raped by someone in Gent’s toilet of Madras International Airport on the intervening night of September 29-30,1993. However, she was not handed over to police by said Mr D Ramachandran Nair and her whereabouts are not known since then. One Mr S Rathnasabapathi, IPS ( Conferred ) was the then Chief Immigration Officer.. Her passport,, passenger manifest of MH-181 and other travel documents as well as her age, address and other identifying particulars were dishonestly concealed.. She was interrogated and detained in absence of women police/ women Immigration officials. Such is the dirty trick of Bureau of Immigration coming under Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau, Madras and Intelligence Bureau , New Delhi.. Being a small employee of the Bureau of Immigration I was victimized then. The entire documents of the case is available with me for publication to caution the general public about the dirty tricks of Bureau of Immigration, Madras/ Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau, Madras/Intelligence Bureau, New Delhi..

  14. K V Krishna Kumar permalink
    February 24, 2015 1:05 AM

    I am desirous of publishing the records of historic biased inquiry instituted by then Chief Immigration Officer, Madras Mr S Rathnasabapathi,IPS (conferred) by appointing his own community fellows Mr K Narasimhan , then Senior Immigration Officer, Madras and Mr A Kannan, then Assistant to shield a female impersonator ‘ Ms S Rani, D/o Sellam ‘. Said ‘ Ms S Rani, D/o Sellam ‘ even influenced then Deputy Director, SIB, Madras Mr K V S Gopalakrishnan, IPS and then Director ,Intelligence Bureau Mr Arun Bhagat, IPS through said Mr S Rathnasabapathi . As a result , I was removed from service and later reinstated into service with three major penalties . Now, I am retired and wanted to place the true records of the case before the general public to expose the nexus of said Mr S Rathnasabapathi and others with female impersonator said ‘ Ms S Rani, D/o Sellam ‘ and her travel agent.


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