No evidence that Ishrat had terror links: SIT



Ahmedabad: The SIT, appointed by the Gujarat High Court to probe the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter killing case, has in its complaint to CBI said "there was no evidence to indicate that the teenager had any terrorist link".

However, the SIT at the same time said the three others, who were killed along with Ishrat, might have terrorist links.

The SIT also said certain reports after the incident had indicated that David Headley, the terrorist arrested in the US, had revealed that Ishrat was part of a terror network, however, there is no evidence to substantiate it.

Ishrat Jahan, a college girl from Mumbra in Thane district in Maharashtra and three others, namely Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Gopinath Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Jeeshan Johar, were killed in an encounter with police on the outskirts of the city on June 15, 2004.

The Gujarat High Court had on December 1 directed CBI to take over further probe in the case after the Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted by it, had concluded last month that the encounter was staged by police.

The SIT had on Thursday filed a complaint with CBI as per the instructions of the court and today CBI filed a fresh FIR against 20 Gujarat policemen based on the SIT's complaint.

As per the complaint, the investigation conducted so far by SIT in connection with Amjad Ali Rana and some terrorist outfits appears to be on the sound ground, while Javed Sheikh and Jeeshan Johar are also suspected to have connections with terrorist activities.

The SIT further said Ishrat had come to know Javed Sheikh for the first time on May 1, 2004, and she was working for him.

She had traveled with Javed to Lucknow and Ibrahimpur, district Faizabad, in UP and both of them had visited Ahmedabad together twice. The SIT complaint further said the statement of one witness Rashid indicates that she had knowledge about Javed's illegal activities before she joined him.

"However, there is no evidence to indicate that she had any terrorist link herself", the SIT complaint said.

Speaking about other accused Javed Sheikh (who had employed Ishrat), the SIT complaint said he had two passports and criminal record with four offences registered against him.

Another deceased, identified as Amjad Ali, had been with Javed in UP and he was present when the latter had purchased an Indica car in 2004 in Pune.

Thus, it appears that Javed was involved with Amjad Ali in some illegal activities and may have had links with some terrorist outfits, as indicated by his personal possession of a satellite phone and some unexplained money with which he bought the car.

However, the SIT said the exact link can be established only after completion of the investigation in this direction.

The SIT also said the link of Amjad Ali Rana with some terrorist organisations appears to be on the sound ground in the investigation conducted so far.

Regarding Jeeshan Johar, the SIT said nobody has come forward to claim his body and his possession of fake identity card suggests that he might be associated with some terrorist organisation, which can be established only after further probe. Johar was identified based on a fake identity card issued from Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir in the name of Abdul Gani.

The SIT further said in the plaint that statements of certain arrested accused in Jammu and Kashmir indicate that they had "some mission" to perform in Gujarat.

The investigation agency in its report submitted to the court said Ishrat and three others were killed prior to the encounter date of 15th June 2004.

The SIT in its complaint to CBI said there were evidence to suggest that Gujarat Police had prior custody of those killed in the encounter.

Oral evidence discloses that one young male and a young female were intercepted while travelling in a blue Indica car at Vasad toll Booth in Anand district of Gujarat by the city crime branch personnel and that they were taken away towards Ahmedabad two days before the purported encounter.

The duo could be Javed and Ishrat, the SIT added.

There are oral and circumstantial evidence that a Pakistani, apparently the deceased Amjad Ali, was kept in illegal confinement at Arham Farm near Koba circle on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city prior to the purported encounter, SIT further said in the complaint.

PTI