Ahmedabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the Sadiq Jamal encounter case of 2003, on Thursday arrested Ketan Tirodkar, a former journalist from Mumbai.
"After he appeared before the High Court this afternoon, Tirodkar was brought to the CBI office at Gandhinagar and later in the evening they took him into custody," his lawyer Japan Dave said.
Chief investigating officer Satish Kumar Rathi handed the arrest memo to Ketan`s cousin, who had accompanied him.
"Agency has not given any reasons at present...On what charges Tirodkar has been arrested, but only informed that tomorrow he will be produced before the Special CBI Judge at Ahmedabad," Dave said.
Jamal, a resident of Bhavnagar, was killed in encounter by Gujarat police in Ahmedabad on January 13, 2003. Police claimed that he was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, and was on a "mission" to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia.
The genuineness of the encounter became an issue after Tirodkar filed an affidavit before a court in Mumbai that he was witness to Jamal`s hand-over to Gujarat police by the `encounter specialist` officer Daya Nayak of Mumbai police, a few days before the alleged encounter.
The High Court, last June, had ordered CBI probe upon a petition of Sabbir Jamal, Sadiq`s brother.
Yesterday, High Court had directed Tirodkar to remain present as CBI wanted to question him. Tirodkar appeared before the High Court today, and was later taken to CBI office.
Earlier, High Court gave CBI time till October 2, 2012 to conclude the probe.
Justice M R Shah, while allowing CBI`s application for more time, also directed Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory, Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) and others to fully cooperate with the agency.
Petitioner`s lawyer argued that High Court should ask CBI to submit an Action Taken Report.
"It`s been almost one year since this court transferred the probe to CBI, but agency has not made any arrests. So the court should ask what action CBI has taken," said advocate Mukul Sinha.
But the judge declined, saying that "we understand your anxiety....But it`s in your interest too that investigation is carried out in a systematic manner, not in haste".
After the CBI`s lawyer yesterday told the court that it had to question Tirodkar, and he was not cooperating, the Court had asked him to remain present.
Today, as he appeared before the court, Tirodkar`s lawyer assured full cooperation. Following which, the judge permitted Dy SP Satish Kumar Rathi to take Tirodkar to CBI office.