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Developments in the Ishrat Jahan murder case

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HT reports on the chargesheet filed today by the CBI in the case of Ishrat Jahan and three others:

In the first chargesheet filed on Wednesday by the CBI in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the agency told a court the 19-year-old Mumbai college girl and three other persons had been killed in cold blood in a staged gunfight by Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The chargesheet says three IPS officers-PP Pande, DG Vanzara and GL Singhal-and five other policemen, who were part of the team that carried out the killings, have been booked for murder, abduction, illegal confinement, destruction of, and tampering with, evidence.

Before being taken to the fake encounter site, Jahan and the others were tranquillised, the chargesheet claims. And to give the encounter a semblance of authenticity, a large number of policemen had been deployed in the capital city, it adds.

Even though no IB officer was named, the chargesheet does imply the central IB was actively involved in the entire operation, from organising prior custody of the deceased, keeping them in illegal confinement and finally killing them. In fact, the chargesheet calls the encounter a “joint operation” by the Gujarat Police and the state Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau.

TOI summarizes the events under investigation:

Ishrat, who belonged to Mumbra in Thane district adjoining Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in the encounter with the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

NDTV reports:

The CBI has alleged that cops at the Ahmedabad crime branch had written the FIR even before the “fake encounter” took place. It has charged seven policemen – including DG Vanzara who is in jail and then Ahmedabad crime branch chief PP Pande, who is absconding – with murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence, abduction and under sections of the Arms Act.

Hard News has a chronology of the case:

June 15, 2004: Ishrat Jahan, a resident of Mumbra, Maharashtra, and three others, Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, a Malayali trader, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana, said to be from Pakistan, are killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

August 2009: Shamima Kausar, Ishrat’s mother, moves Gujarat High Court, asking for a CBI probe.

September 2009: SP Tamang, metropolitan magistrate in Ahmedabad, in his inquiry report, makes scathing remarks and says the encounter was staged.

September 2010: Gujarat High Court constitutes a new Special Investigation Team (SIT) after the earlier team expresses its inability to probe the encounter since it was already investigating the riot cases of 2002.

November 2011: SIT submits its report. The report says that the encounter was staged.

December 2011: The court orders a CBI probe based on the SIT report which concluded that the encounter was fake.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

July 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

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