New Delhi: David Coleman Headley, one of the prime accused in the 26/11 terror attacks, told a special Mumbai court on Thursday that Ishrat Jahan, the 19-year-old girl who was killed in an alleged 'fake encounter' in 2004, was affiliated to the LeT.
This is what happened back in 2004:
It was on June 15, 2004, that Ishrat Jahan Raza and three others Pranesh Pillai (alias Javed Gulam Sheikh), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter by the Ahmedabad Police.
The Gujarat Police stated that Ishrat, along with three other people, had been gunned down near Ahmedabad by a police team belonging to the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) of the Ahmedabad City Police.
The police claimed that the four were connected with the Lashkar-Toiba (LeT) and had come to Gujarat to assassinate the then chief minister Narendra Modi in order to avenge the communal riots of 2002 which had led to the deaths of numerous Muslims.
A report was submitted by metropolitan magistrate SP Tamang in the Ahmedabad metropolitan court on September 7, 2009, which said that the four persons were killed in police custody.
The Ahmedabad metropolitan court ruled that Ishrat's killing was a fake encounter. Tamang's report said the Crime Branch police kidnapped Ishrat and the others from Mumbai on June 12, 2004, and brought them to Ahmedabad. Tamang said that there was no evidence to link the victims with the LeT. There was also nothing to indicate that they had come to Gujarat to kill Modi.
The Gujarat government challenged the report of the metropolitan magistrate, saying that the policemen accused of fake encounter were not given an opportunity to present their side of the arguments. The Gujarat government's petition in the high court against Tamang's report said that it should be scrapped as it was 'illegal and doubtful'.
The Gujarat high court stated that Ishrat Jahan's encounter case was of national importance and ordered the police witnesses to be posted where they would not be working as subordinates to officials accused in the case.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Karnail Singh, was set up to probe the case further. The SIT sent four teams to Srinagar, Delhi, Lucknow and Nashik to probe Ishrat's alleged terrorist links.
On November 21, 2011, the SIT told the Gujarat HC that the Ishrat Jahan encounter was not genuine. After the SIT filed its report, the HC ordered that a complaint under Indian Penal Code Section 302 (murder) has to be filed against those involved in the fake encounter, in which over 20 policemen, including senior IPS officers, were involved.
Ishrat Jahan Shamim Raza was a 19-year-old girl, who was a second year Bachelor of Science student at Mumbai's Guru Nanak Khalsa College. Ishrat used to work as the secretary of Javed Sheikh (Pranesh), and used to handle his accounts.
Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Gulam Sheikh was the son of Gopinatha Pillai, a native of Noornad in Kerala. Before his death, he had been booked for four assault cases in Mumbai and Pune, and had also been charged with involvement in a fake currency racket. Gujarat Police recovered two passports from Javed: one obtained using his original name Pranesh and the second one in his new name.
Amjad Ali Rana, also known as Akbar or Salim, was originally a resident of the Haveli Deewan village in the Bhalwal Tehsil of Pakistan. According to the CBI chargesheet, he told the Gujarat Police that he was planning to commit a terrorist act in Ahmedabad.
Zeeshan (alias Jisan Johar alias Abdul Ghani), along with Amjad, is said to have been caught in a trespassing case in Srinagar in 2003.