On 2nd July, Hindustan Times’ Delhi edition carried a story with the headline “Ishrat Jahan has links with Kashmir Separatists”. The content of the story contradicted this sensational claim. Even more stunningly, the same story, sans this malicious headline, appeared in the Ahmedabad edition of the newspaper. Originally a story by the paper’s Ahmedabad correspondent, Mahesh Langa, Delhi-based correspondent Abhishek Saran added his byline and headline in the Delhi edition. It was clear what his contribution to the story was.
A letter by Shamima Kauser’s lawyer Vrinda Grover to Hindustan Times forced them to withdraw the headline and print a correction the following day.
On 8th July, a day before the proclaimed absconder ADG of Gujarat Police, P.P. Pandey’s application is due to be heard in the Supreme Court, on 9th July, Hindustan Times again chooses to publish the same Abhishek Saran’s plug story for IB on its front page. It makes references to telephone intercepts allegedly between Muzzamil and two of those killed in the 2004 fake encounter. In the HT report itself, there is not a whisper about Ishrat Jahan in these alleged communications, and yet the report on the front page is titled, “IB’s Ishrat tapes”. These so-called IB’s Ishrat tapes do not have a single reference to Ishrat Jahan. It takes considerable imagination and motivation, skills that Mr. Saran seems to have mastered, to provide false, baseless and misleading headlines. (These tapes by the way were already broadcast by Headlines Today on 13th June, a night before a hearing was scheduled on the matter in the Gujarat High Court. The Hon’ble HC refused to admit these on record). It is obvious that tired and regurgitated ‘stories’ are being planted and re-planted to save some powerful people who are under investigation for the murder of Ishrat Jahan.
Justice for Ishrat Jahan Campaign
8th July 2013.