`Fake` encounter case: Guj cop in CBI custody

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Tarun Barot, a key accused in the 2003 "fake" encounter of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar in Gujarat.

Ahmedabad: Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Tarun Barot, a key accused in the 2003 "fake" encounter of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar in Gujarat, was Wednesday remanded in two-day CBI custody by a Special Court here.

Barot, posted in North Gujarat`s Mehsana district, was arrested yesterday by the Central agency after it was asked by the Gujarat High Court to probe the killing of Sadiq,an alleged gangster, by the state police.

Barot, charged with murder and criminal conspiracy, was produced before Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate A Y Dave, presiding over the Special CBI Court, where S K Rathi, the Investigating Officer, sought his custody for five days but he was given time till September 28 to question him.

"The accused, who was protector of the law, has been charged with serious crimes and CBI is justified in requesting for custodial interrogation to unearth his modus operandi and links with other accused," observed the court.

Directing the CBI to produce Barot in the court by 3 pm on September 28, the Magistrate accepted the CBI`s argument that killing of Sadiq was a "deep-rooted conspiracy" and it had inter-state ramifications.

"As he has been accused of crimes under Section 120b (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of Indian Penal Code, his custodial interrogation is justified," the court noted.

CBI, in its application said, "custodial examination of the accused is extremely necessary to unearth the deep rooted conspiracy relating to fake encounter of Sadiq Jamal."

"The crime is peculiar in nature and has inter-state ramifications. Hence, it is necessary to detain the accused for five days," it further said.

Barot is the second person to be arrested in the case after former Mumbai scribe Ketan Tirodakar. Sadiq was killed on January 13, 2003 near here in a joint operation of Anti- Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Crime Branch Ahmedabad.

According to Tirodakar, a Gujarat Police team, of which Barot was a part, had taken custody of Sadiq in Mumbai. After the encounter, police claimed Sadiq had planned to kill BJP leader L K Advani, Chief Minister Narendra Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia.