Ishrat case: Cops demand CBI probe

Ishrat Jahan and 3 others were killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Police officers accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case, on Tuesday demanded a CBI probe into the matter, citing lack of faith on the functioning of the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
According to reports, the police officers, who are currently under scanner in connection with the case, said that they don’t trust the SIT investigation into the 2004 encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others by Gujarat police.

The development comes nearly two weeks after the Gujarat High Court threatened to transfer the inquiry into the Ishrat Jahan encounter case to a Central agency if the state government continued to hamper the work of the Special Investigation Team.

The SIT was appointed by the High Court.
A Division Bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari noted that the state government was “hampering investigation” and this was “not acceptable.” It warned the government not to compel the High Court to transfer the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation or the National Intelligence Agency.

The Bench also noted with dismay that the investigation carried out by the three-member SIT so far was “not satisfactory,” and asked it to file another progress report, in a sealed cover, to the Registrar-General of the court by April 21.
The Bench said it had come to its notice that there was no proper co-ordination and unity among the three main SIT members on the investigation methodology and other matters. What were they doing about the investigation as all work now seemed to be done by Assistant Commissioner of Police VR Toliya, who was supposed to merely assist the SIT, the Bench asked.

Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004 by the city Crime Branch police, who accused the four of being Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives out on a mission to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.