Ahmedabad: The special investigation team
(SIT), probing the 2004 police encounter of Ishrat Jahan and
three others, on Tuesday submitted its progress report in the case
in a sealed cover to the Gujarat High Court.
The report was submitted in the High Court registry ahead
of hearing in the case, scheduled on April 8, before the
division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha
In January this year, the court had directed the SIT to
submit its progress report every two months and update it
about the status of investigation in the case. The court had
also appointed Y S Lakhani as amicus curie in the case.
The SIT headed by IPS officer Karnal Singh and comprising
two other Gujarat cadre officers -- Mohan Jha and Satish Verma
-- was formed by the Gujarat High Court last year to probe the
encounter of Mumbai-based Ishrat and three others by crime
branch officials near Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
Verma had last month raided the Forensic Science
Laboratory (FSL) located in Meghaninagar area of the city and
seized some computer hard disks and documents related to the
Following the seizure of the material, some FSL officers
have been questioned, as to why these things were not given to
the SIT along with other evidences and documents.
The seizure by the agency assumed significance as SIT
member Verma, in an affidavit filed in the High Court in
January, had questioned the genuineness of the encounter.
Verma had further said that there were illustrative
evidences that suggest that the allegation of the encounter
being fake were well founded. He had also enumerated various
scientific evidence that go against the version of the FIR
filed by the city crime branch.
Ishrat along with three others -- Javed Sheikh alias
Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar -? were
killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
After the encounter, city crime branch had claimed that
the deceased were LeT terrorists who had come to kill Gujarat
Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
They had further claimed that the encounter was carried
out after receiving intelligence inputs from the Centre.
Following a petition by Ishrat`s mother Shamima Kausar
and father of Javed Sheikh, Gopinath Pillai, demanding CBI
inquiry, the Gujarat High Court had formed a SIT in September
last year to probe the encounter.
In September 2009, a report by judicial magistrate S P
Tamang had concluded that the encounter of Ishrat and three
others was fake and carried out in cold blood by police
officers. Judicial inquiry under CrPC 176 was conducted as it
was a case of unnatural death.