Zee Media Bureau
Ahmedabad: Intelligence Bureau (IB) special director Rajinder Kumar, who was interrogated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, on Tuesday denied any role in the killings.
According to reports, Kumar told the CBI that the inputs provided by him to the Gujarat state officials were genuine and based on the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) intercepts.
Kumar also categorically denied being part of any conspiracy to eliminate Ishrat Jahan and others who were killed by the Gujarat Crime Branch officials in an encounter in 2004.
Kumar made these claims during his interrogation by the CBI in connection with the case.
He also informed the central probe agency that he did not order or advice the Gujarat police to carry out any encounter.
The agency questioned Rajinder Kumar in connection with the fake encounter case at its office in Gandhinagar.
Kumar has already been questioned by the agency once in the case in which 19-year old Ishrat was killed along with four others on June 15, 2004 by a team of Crime Branch officials on Ahmedabad`s outskirts.
The agency wanted to question Kumar, a 1979-Batch IPS officer of Manipur-Tripura cadre, as it claims to have evidence about his alleged involvement in the conspiracy.
The sources said the officer had claimed in his defence that the intelligence input given by him which led to the encounter was a genuine one and giving input does not mean that he directed the police to carry out the encounter.
The Gujarat police had alleged Ishrat was part of a terror outfit LeT module aiming at the life of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources, however, said that the agency was not concentrating merely on the intelligence input and that they have enough leads which indicate Kumar`s alleged involvement in the conspiracy leading to the encounter found to be fake by the Special Investigating Team constituted by the Gujarat High Court.
The sources said the focus of the agency`s probe has been whether intelligence officers were active participants in the conspiracy behind Ishrat`s killing.
The CBI`s move to question Kumar had strained its relations with IB and Union Home Secretary RK Singh had to convene a meeting of CBI director Ranjit Sinha and IB chief Asif Ibrahim to discuss the issue in detail.
The CBI had issued fresh notices to the officer under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure as previous examination of the officer was not satisfactory and replies given by him, the agency said, appeared diversionary.
With PTI Inputs