Ahmedabad: Fourteen policemen involved in
the Ishrat Jahan encounter today alleged there was "serious
groupism and infighting" among senior IPS officers in Gujarat
as a result of which they were being victimised and they have
approached the High Court for transferring the case.
The case relating to the encounter should be transferred
either to CBI or any other Special Investigation Team (SIT)
and there should be no officer of state police on board, they
said in an application before the Gujarat High Court.
Ishrat Jahan, along with three others--Javed Sheikh
alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar--had
been killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004 in
a police encounter.
IPS officer G L Singhal and 13 other policemen in the
application alleged that "on account of serious groupism and
infighting among senior ranked IPS officers" they were being
victimised in Gujarat.
The policemen stated that they are anticipating arrest
by the present SIT, which has now virtually become a one-man
team of IPS officer Satish Verma, following the April 21 order
by a High Court Bench comprising Justice Patel and Justice
Singhal and others have contended that handing over
the probe to only one IPS officer would be `prejudicial` to
They also expressed serious apprehensions that Verma
could take coercive steps against them, generate fake evidence
and may falsely implicate them in the case.
In their application, the policemen have said that
"Verma is acting either at the behest of or in connivance
with senior IPS officers, who like Satish Verma are harbouring
personal grudge against them, for reasons best known to them".
The application was urgently mentioned before Justice
Patel today. However, the Court refused to hear the plea
saying that it will be heard in a routine course when the
matter is listed for hearing or along with the main case which
is scheduled to come up again on May 12.
Meanwhile, senior counsel Nirupam Nanavati, representing
the aggrieved police officers, submitted that there was `deep
internal rivalry among the IPS officers, because of which his
clients were being victimised.
Justice Patel, however, said that the division bench
hearing the case was not present. He further said that the
police officers cannot be heard at this stage as they were not
even named accused in the case. They can be heard only after
their arrest, he added.
In their application, the policemen accused Verma of
using `extra legal` investigation methods so as to falsely
implicate them in the case.
They have cited complaints of certain police officials
who had claimed that Verma was employing coercive tactics to
extract statements from them.
Besides Singhal, the 13 others who have moved the
application were Tarun Barot, J G Parmar, D H Goswami, B A
Chavda, K M Vaghela, R I Patel, K S Desai, C J Goswami, M T
Vyas, N B Saiyyed, M N Menat, B R Bharwad and A J Chowdhary.
The Crime Branch which carried out the encounter had
claimed that the four victims were LeT terrorists who had come
to kill Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.