Ishrat Jahan case: Complete probe, remove IPS officer Satish Verma, says HC
Zee Media Bureau
Ahmedabad: With the political conflict over the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case intensifying, the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to maintain the genuineness of its probe and file the chargesheet in the court by July 12.
According to reports, the Gujarat High Court also directed the CBI to disassociate IPS officer Satish Verma from the case.
The HC, while passing its order, said that the CBI must focus its investigation on illegal confinement and fake encounter.
The High Court made its observations minutes after the central probe agency informed the court that it would file chargesheet in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case by July 12.
Meanwhile, the agency also questioned Intelligence Bureau (IB) special director 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.
BJP claims political conspiracy
Escalating the political conflict over the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the BJP today claimed a political conspiracy to defame its leaders.
The sources close to BJP leader and former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah, a key accused in the case, said that attempts are being made to politicise the issue.
The main opposition party, while seeking Prime Minister’s intervention into the matter, said that the central probe agency is being misused to settle political score and implicate BJP leaders and Gujarat state police officials.
Ishrat is innocent: Shamima Kausar Bi
Hours after the Gujarat High Court directed the CBI to stay focussed on the genuineness of its probe into the Ishrat Jehan case, the girl’s mother Shamima Kausar today said that her daughter had no links with any terrorist organisation and that she was killed by the Gujarat police officials in an act of hatred towards Muslims.
Shamima Kausar also claimed that Gujarat High Court’s direction to the CBI to complete its probe in an impartial and free manner shows the complicity of the several officials of the IB and the Gujarat government.
With agency inputs