New Delhi: In what could be seen as a major blow to the Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's aide Amit Shah, CNN-IBN has accessed tapes of a meeting in which Gujarat ministers were caught on tape allegedly discussing how to obstruct investigations in the Ishart Jahan fake encounter case.
The tapes are from a meeting between Gujarat Advocate General Kamal Trivedi and state ministers Pradeep Sinh Jadeja and Praful Patel, and Modi's secretary Girish Chandra Murmu. Two police officers GL Singhal and Tarun Barot also attended the meet.
According to the CBI chargesheet in the Ishart Jahan case; a meeting took place in the chamber of Gujarat Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, a day before the SIT filed a report in the Gujarat High Court in the case, allegedly to obstruct investigations.
The CBI has summoned and interrogated Praful Patel and Murmu. CBI has also questioned DG Vanzara, the other key accused in the case, after he wrote a letter blaming Amit Shah for the fake encounters in Gujarat.
CNN-IBN has learnt that Praful Patel has admitted before the CBI that Amit Shah was allegedly knew from the beginning about the Ishrat fake encounter and was following every single detail of investigations. The CBI now wants to again question Amit Shah in light of these new revelations.
In the tapes, there the then Minister of State for Home Praful Patel allegedly made a statement about how he met SIT chief officer Satish Verma. "I had called up Satish Verma (SIT Chief Officer) to my house, though I knew it was dangerous. I spoke to him for over four hours and told him that SIT should help these 18 persons. I told him that if they get help from you, it will be a big thing," Prafull Patel had said.
Meanwhile, Kamal Trivedi in the tape has accepted that Amit Shah has been constantly following the case. "Amit bhai has been constantly following the case," Kamal Trivedi had said.
Hitting out at the Gujarat Chief Minister over the allegations, Congress said. "It shows what Narednra Modi really is capable of doing."
The refernce to Amit Bhai is Amit Shah and Narendra Modi as well.
Voice: Hope they have not left for the airport.
Voice: Modi bhai was to leave for Delhi. Then they won't be contactable
Kamal: He wanted to talk.
Voice: Gujarat Bhavan lagao. Gujarat Bhavan.
Trivedi: He wanted this to be treated as a Preliminary Inquiry that then goes to the Magistrate. Idea was to see that we help the situation. It has to be conveyed that we don't want any further investigation.
There are several other instances in the tapes which throw uncomfortable legal questions for Gujarat government. But the speed which is now being displayed by the CBI is bound to raise political questions as well.
-If Amit Shah is questioned again, will it be seen as evidence of CBI trying to get at Modi?
- Has the Ishrat case now become a means for the Congress to settle scores with Narendra Modi?
- Do the Singhal recordings clearly suggest that the Gujarat government tried to derail investigations in the Ishrat case?
- What explains the presence of two Gujarat Ministers along with the accused and the prosecutor in the Ishrat case?