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CBI says Ishrat Jahan encounter was fake

CBI says Ishrat Jahan encounter was fake
Calling the encounter of alleged operative of the Lashkar-e-Toiba Ishrat Jahan and three others on 15 June 2004 by the Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau fake, the CBI on Wednesday filed its first chargesheet in the case before the Gujarat High Court.

The chargesheet names Gujarat policemen Deputy Inspector General of Police DG Vanzara, Assistant Commissioner of Police GL Singhal, PP Pandey (then of the crime branch of Gujarat Police), Anaji Choudhary, Tarun Barot, JR Parmar and NK Amin as accused.

Though the CBI didn’t name the Intelligence Bureau special director Rajinder Kumar as an accused in this charge-sheet, reference has been made to him at few places. Ishrat Jahan and three others – Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Ali and Amjad Ali Rana - were killed by Gujarat police nine years ago in an alleged encounter to neutralise an alleged module to assassinate Gujarat chief minister
Narendra Modi.

The CBI has charged the accused of murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence. Giving details of the conspiracy, sources in the CBI said that first Zeeshan Ali was abducted in April 2004 and put in a farmhouse by the Gujarat police and IB officials. Then Amjad Ali Rana was kidnapped in May and put in a separate farm house.

The last ones to be intercepted, as per Gujarat police, were Ishrat Jahan and Javed Sheikh who were put in third farm house in June. ‘After these abductions, a meeting was held on 12-13 June in the then DIG DG Vanzara’s office to plot the fake encounter. This meeting was also attended by the special director IB Rajinder Kumar. PP Pandey, the then head of Gujarat crime branch, was also present in the meeting,’ the sources said.

Sources added that during this meeting there was a difference of opinion on whether to kill Ishrat Jahan or not as her link with terror groups was not being established. However, the opinion prevailed to terminate her and subsequently she was also murdered in cold blood by the Gujarat police, says the chargesheet. CBI sources also said that an FIR about the encounter had been drafted even before the incident pointing to the audacity of the Gujarat policemen planning the extra-judicial killings.

‘The weapons – an AK-56 and two 9 mm pistols – which were allegedly planted by Gujarat police had been provided by the Intelligence Bureau,’ the sources said.

The CBI added that on the day of the encounter – 15 June - Javed, Ishrat and Zeeshan was brought to the site (Kotarpur waterworks) in Javed’s car and Amjad was brought in a separate car.
The CBI is likely to file a supplementary chargesheet in this case soon which may have some big names.

On whether the four were terrorists or not, the CBI said their credentials have not been mentioned in the chargesheet as that was not part of their probe. ‘We have a strong case and a lot of witnesses. We also know the motive behind this fake encounter which may surface in the next document,’ the cops said.
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