Gujarat cop sent to jail in 2003 Sadiq encounter case

A court rejected CBI`s request to grant further custody of Mehsana DSP Tarun Barot in the 2003 Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounter case.

Ahmedabad: A court on Friday rejected CBI`s request to grant further custody of Mehsana DSP Tarun Barot in the 2003 Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounter case, and sent him to 15-day judicial custody in Sabaramati Central jail.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate H S Khutwad rejected the investigating agency`s plea, which sought three-day further remand after the completion of the two-day custody.

CBI had arrested Barot on September 25 following his interrogation for more than four hours at its Gandhinagar office.

He is the second to be arrested after former Mumbai scribe Ketan Tirodkar in the case.

Earlier, the court had remanded Barot in two-day CBI custody.

CBI again sought the Gujarat cop`s custody for three more days on the grounds that during the interrogation Barot was non-cooperative, evasive and had not revealed details of the crime.

"We are faced with the offender who is not co-operating and not disclosing any details of modus operandi applied by the co-accused of the case," CBI counsel Ejaz Khan argued.

He also mentioned that in a case of fake encounter when a police officer is involved, the Supreme Court has suggested awarding death penalty and this was also a case of grave crime.

"The ball has to go forward not in backward direction. They have to produce before the court what they have collected during the remand and on that basis they should seek further remand," he said

After the magistrate pronounced the order rejecting urther police custody, Verma submitted an application seeking higher security for Barot inside the jail.

"During his (Barot) service he was involved in high profile cases, some of them were related to terrorism with top level security. Keeping this in the consideration, court should direct the jail authorities to arrange for higher security in the jail," it said.

Following this, the court directed jail authorities to do the needful.

Sadiq was killed on January 13, 2003 on the outskirts of the city in a joint operation of Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Ahmedabad Police`s Crime Branch.

After the encounter, the Crime Branch had claimed that they had intelligence inputs that Sadiq was a wanted criminal in the league of Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel, and had planned to kill BJP leader L K Advani, Chief Minister Narendra Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia.

On the petition filed by Sadiq`s brother, the Gujarat High Court had in June last year ordered a CBI probe into the encounter case involving high rank officers, including suspended IPS officer D G Vanzara, one of the key accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.