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David Headley's deposition on Ishrat Jahan-LeT link sparks bitter war of words between BJP and Congress

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress are engaged in a bitter war of words ever since Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley's court deposition that Ishrat Jahan -- shot dead in a shootout along with 3 others in 2004 -- was a Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.

Ishrat was shot dead along with 3 men in Gujarat 12 years ago by police officers who claimed Ishrat and group were terrorists involved in a plot to kill Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister.

The BJP has demanded an apology from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, while the opposition parties questioned attempts to justify the "fake" Ishrat Jahan encounter which it said was "not permissible by law."

Headley said that a LeT woman operative was involved, while identifying her as Thane college student Ishrat Jahan out of the 3 names offered by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam -- Noorjehan Begum, Mumtaz Begum and Ishrat Jahan.

The Congress hatched a conspiracy to politicize terror to defame the Bharatiya Janata Party and Narendra Modi, BJP leader Shrikant Sharma said.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari questioned the attempts to use Headley's testimony to justify the "fake" shootout. He further added that even if a person is a terrorist, he needs to be arrested and brought to justice like Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

On Monday, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam downplayed Ishrat Jahan's lawyer Vrinda Grover's criticism that Headley's version was not evidence as per Indian law as he was given a 'multiple choice question' by Nikam, saying that he posed the question based on information received from the concerned intelligence agencies.