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CBI demands greater security for probe team

Three days before Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) is slated to file a charge-sheet in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the agency asked the Centre and the Maharashtra government to provide more security to the investigating officer of the case after he faced threats.

‘We have requested the Maharashtra state government and the Home Ministry to provide security to the CBI probe team,’ CBI director Ranjit Sinha told reporters on Monday. The agency’s Nagpur-based Superintendent of Police, Sandeep Madhukar Tamgadge, an IPS officer of 2001 batch from Nagaland cadre, has been receiving threats.

The sources said that the agency is likely to file a charge-sheet on Thursday which may not name the interrogated IB special director Rajindra Kumar.

‘We have given an assurance to the Gujarat High Court that we will file the charge-sheet by 4 July. We will maintain that,’ Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of a function on environmental training at the CBI headquarters on Thursday. ‘The CBI will focus on those who directly participated in the incident and not on the conspiracy behind it’, Sinha said

There had been speculation that the CBI would name Rajendra Kumar for allegedly playing a role in generating the intelligence input that led to the alleged staged shootout. The Union Home Ministry has maintained that its prior sanction was required by the CBI to prosecute Kumar. The ministry has also expressed doubts over ‘evidence’ that the agency claims to have of his involvement.

Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Gopinath Pillai, Amjad Ali and Jishan Johar were killed by Gujarat Police in a shootout in 2004 in Ahmedabad. Police said they were part of a plot to assassinate chief minister Narendra Modi.
The CBI had questioned Rajendra Kumar, who was with the IB in Gujarat when the incident took place.

Meanwhile, Ranjit Sinha said that illegal wildlife trading networks have cross-border linkages and there is need for greater coordination between the security agencies of different countries to deal with this threat. Sinha also noted that India faces formidable challenges in the protection of tigers in the wild.
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