Malicious Reporting on Ishrat Jahan Case #HT


 

To,

The Editor,

Hindustan Times

 

On the day the CBI is set to file its chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case,Hindustan Times has chosen to report about it in a manner that is malicious, prejudicial and intended to manipulate public opinion. The report, “ ‘Ishrat Jahan had links with Kashmir Separatists’: CBI” by Mahesh Langa and Abhishek Sharan in the Delhi/ Ahmedabad edition of the newspaper is nothing short of defamatory. The headline attributes this ‘information’ to the CBI whereas in the text of the report, it is said that two of those killed along with Ishrat “were associated with secessionist groups in Kahsmir”. Clearly, the CBI is not saying that Ishrat had any links with any group. This is a deliberate misrepresentation and a cheap trick to make connections where none exist in order to tarnish the reputation of a deceased girl who is no longer present to defend herself.

We are in possession of the original article written by HT Correspondent Mahesh Langa, which was also carried in the Ahmedabad edition of Hindustan Times as “Ishrat case: What the Chargesheet is Likely to reveal” which does not attempt to make any such a spurious connection.

 

From where then did this headline emerge in the Delhi edition? Why this attempt to taint her with the ‘terror’ tag through false and sensationalist headlines, especially on a day when the battle for justice enters a crucial phase with the CBI expected to file its chargesheet. It can hardly be seen as an innocent oversight given the fact that a concerted campaign to malign Ishrat’s reputation has been central to those trying to obstruct justice and the process of law.

 

The Hindustan Times needs to issue an unconditional apology to the family of Ishrat Jahan, printed in the same large and bold font as the headline of the report today. Such sensationalism violates all codes and ethics of reporting and journalism and is liable to invite action by Press Council and other statutory bodies as well as criminal liability

Vrinda Grover

Lawyer for Shamima Kauser

(Mother of deceased Ishrat Jehan)
Vrinda Grover
Advocate

N14A, Saket
New Delhi 110017
91 9810806181

 

[Exposé] Ishrat Jahan Encounter: CBI Probe Nails IB Officer’s Role


Shocking testimonies and a sting implicate IB Special Director Rajendra Kumar and Modi’s top guns. Rana Ayyub scoops the file

Rana Ayyub

2013-06-29 , Issue 26 Volume 10

In cold blood In 2011, the SIT told the court that Ishrat was killed in a fake encounter

In cold blood In 2011, the SIT told the court
that Ishrat was killed in a 
 Photo: Trupti Patel

The is set to drop a bombshell in a case of extrajudicial killing of four alleged terrorists by the Gujarat Police nine years ago. TEHELKA has learnt that the CBI will testify before a trial judge in Ahmedabad that one of the accused officers has, in a sworn testimony, identified , now a Special Director with the Intelligence Bureau (IB), as a mastermind of the encounter killing of a woman and three men, all Muslims, on 15 June 2004. The agency, on the directions of the Gujarat High Court, is expected to file its chargesheet before the trial court on 4 July.

Explosively, a testimony by another officer claims that Kumar met the 19-year-old woman, , while she was in illegal police custody before being killed. Another testimony by a cop claims that an AK-47 assault rifle, which the police said belonged to those killed, had actually been sourced from the Gujarat unit of the IB, to which Kumar belonged then, and planted on the four dead bodies.

The allegations, if found true, would not only fix Kumar’s lead role in the murder of the four people. It would also unequivocally demolish the state government’s long-held claim that the four were terrorists on their way to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and were killed by the police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in a predawn exchange of gunfire. The testimonies are especially stunning as this is the first occasion in India’s history that the IB, an opaque Central agency that functions virtually with no public oversight, has been dragged into the middle of a sordid crime.

Rana

It is the CBI’s case that Kumar knowingly provided false intelligence to the state police, claiming Jahan and the three men with her were terrorists. On 18 June, the CBI questioned Kumar at length in Gandhinagar, the state capital. An intra- agency war has broken out with IB Director Asif IBrahim accusing the CBI of targeting Kumar. But the evidentiary material with the CBI could make it difficult for the IB to continue backing Kumar.

Shockingly, one of the testimonies with the CBI also implicates Amit Shah — a Modi confidant who was Gujarat’s junior home minister at that time — as the one who ordered the cold-blooded killings. The CBI’s upcoming submission in the court on 4 July is bound to kick up a massive political storm as Modi has been tasked to lead his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in next year’s General Election, making him a contender for the job of the prime minister. Shah has been put in charge of the party in Uttar Pradesh, India’s politically most influential state that the BJP must win to rule New Delhi.

TEHELKA has exclusive information that the CBI  also possesses a secret audio recording made by a key accused, , who was one of the police officers who shot the four that fateful night. That recording of November 2011 is a conversation among Gujarat’s then junior home minister, Praful Patel, who had succeeded Shah in the job a year earlier; Additional Principal Secretary Girish Chandra Murmu, an IAS  officer who has served in Modi’s office since 2008 and considered to be one of his closest advisers; the state government’s most senior law officer, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi; his deputy, Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta; an unnamed lawyer; and Singhal. (Patel, not to be confused with a namesake who is a Union minister, lost in the Assembly elections in December and did not find a place in Modi’s new cabinet.)

In the conversation the participants allegedly discuss ways to cover-up the crime by sabotaging a probe by a Special Investigative Team (SIT) of police officers appointed by the Gujarat High Court in 2009. The conversation shows the participants aimed to prevent the SIT from fingering the officers for the shootout. On 21 November 2011, the morning after the conversation, the SIT told the high court that there had been no shootout and Jahan and her companions had been killed in cold blood. The CBI will submit the audio recording, which has already been sent for a forensic examination, to the judge on 4 July.

According to a CBI officer who spoke to TEHELKA, Singhal has admitted he recorded the conversation as he feared he might be arrested and wanted to save the proof of the wider conspiracy. Indeed, Singhal is emerging as a crucial talking head in the case — as the one who has identified both Kumar and Shah as the masterminds. TEHELKA is aware of the identity of the other police officers who have given sworn testimonies to the CBI implicating IB officer Kumar and the others. However, we are withholding the names in order to protect their identities before 4 July, when the CBI would submit their signed testimonies to the court.

Additionally, a curious occurrence has come to light. Two days before the encounter, someone made two separate phone calls from a public telephone booth an hour apart from each other. One of them was made to the Ahmedabad office of the IB’s state wing. And the other was made to the mobile phone of Javed Gulam Shaikh (formerly a Hindu named Pranesh Pillai), who is the central figure among the four alleged terrorists and who was bringing them to Gujarat in his car. Who was making those phone calls and who did the caller speak with at the IB office? What did he speak of with Shaikh? The answers to these questions would further implicate Kumar, according to the CBI officer.

An Indian Police Services (IPS) officer since 1979, Kumar has been tying himself in knots since the CBI zeroed in on him. He reportedly told the CBI this week that he could not remember details of the events leading up to the shootout. In any case, he told the CBI, he merely provided the intelligence input and did not ask the police to kill Jahan, Shaikh and the two others. But CBI officers have sourced videos that news channels shot at the scene of the encounter where Kumar is prominent among the swarming police officers. CBI officials say Kumar, an intelligence officer, had no business being there.

In fact, two other testimonies the CBI has recorded afresh, directly implicate Kumar in another case: the extrajudicial killing of a Muslim youth, Sadiq Jamal, in January 2003. An officer with the Manipur- Tripura cadre stationed by the IB in Gujarat as joint director during 2000-05, Kumar had provided an intelligence input that said Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had tasked the 23-year-old Jamal to assassinate Modi. (A year later, Kumar forwarded an identical input that LeT had despatched Jahan, Shaikh and the two other men, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, both allegedly Pakistanis.)

The CBI is probing Jamal’s killing, too. Police had arrested him in 2002 for gambling and presented him before a judge in Bhavnagar, 175 km south of Ahmedabad, 10 days before Kumar sent out the intelligence input about Jamal being a terrorist on the prowl. He followed it up with a second missive to the state’s then Director General of Police K Chakravarty, giving out the various locations in Bhavnagar where Jamal could be found.

Subterfuge GL Singhal’s (circled) tape of the cover-up talk implicates many others in the case

Subterfuge GL Singhal’s (circled) tape of the cover-up talk implicates many others in the case
Photo: Mayur Bhatt

One of the new testimonies with the CBI is by an intelligence officer named Ambady Gopinathan who was serving with the IB’s state wing in Maharashtra when the intelligence input about Jamal cropped up first in October 2002. He says a colleague of his in Mumbai submitted a “source report” that Jamal, “a dreaded terrorist had arrived from Dubai to kill certain right wing leaders”. It further said Jamal was in Ahmedabad and was “busy surveying the targets for his nefarious designs”. Gopinathan, who subsequently retired as assistant director with the IB’s Maharashtra unit, forwarded the report to two other state IB officers who in turn forwarded it to the IB in New Delhi.

Gopinathan’s testimony blows to smithereens the story that Jamal was a terrorist who the Ahmedabad crime branch killed in an encounter. He says that on 19 December 2002 Jamal was arrested from a hotel in Andheri East, a Mumbai suburb. “For about a week different SIB (State Intelligence Bureau) officers used to… interrogate Sadiq,” Gopinathan says. “We came to the conclusion that there was no substance to the input that Sadiq had any intention to cause harm to any VVIPs. The interrogation report containing the details and conclusion was sent to the central intelligence unit of the IB.” On 3 January 2003, Jamal’s custody was handed over to the crime branch in Gujarat. Ten days later, “I came to know from the media that Sadiq was killed in a police encounter”.

Surprisingly, even after being given a report of Sadiq’s innocence, Kumar claimed he was an absconder, in a third input generated soon after.

A CBI source told TEHELKA that two intelligence officers from Mumbai are also on its radar. One of them, Gururaj Savadatti, is a “suspect” as he was the one who had submitted the original “source report” about Jamal being a terrorist. The other officer is Sudhir Kumar, who was then IB central director, western zone, and who Gopinathan had sent the source report. The CBI believes the two Kumars, Rajendra and Sudhir, conspired to label Jamal a terrorist, which led to his encounter killing in Gujarat.

The other fresh testimony with the CBI is by a senior IPS officer in Gujarat, Anupam Singh Gehlot, a deputy inspector general in charge of coastal intelligence posted at the state police headquarters in Gandhinagar. Gehlot had been a deputy superintendent of police during 2002-04 at Bhavnagar. Jamal was a resident of Bhavnagar and the intelligence about him was sent to the city police for verification. Gehlot has now told the CBI that J Mahapatra, an IPS officer who was then director general of police in charge of statewide police intelligence, telephoned him and told him to expect a call from Rajendra Kumar. When Kumar called, he sent Gehlot on a wild goose chase by telling him to go look for a man named Ayyub Islam in the city.

“Later I got another phone call(s) from Rajendra Kumar and Mahapatra giving me name of a person called Sadiq Jamal who lived in Bhavnagar, a trained LeT militant (who) was out to kill BJP leader Narendra Modi,” Gehlot says. “I could make out that Kumar was keen on detailing Sadiq Jamal irrespective whereas Mr Mahapatra was keen on me verifying facts.” On 30 November 2002, Gehlot’s men went to Jamal’s house and found only his mother. The local police station told them they had booked Jamal for gambling. “We found no evidence against him and this was reported to the central intelligence unit. It was election time and I was busy with election supervision. On 15 January 2003 I received a phone call from the Ahmedabad crime branch asking me to inform the family of his (Jamal’s) death and to collect the dead body.”

The CBI says Mahapatra has been questioned and he is cooperating. Expect fireworks on 4 July.

rana@tehelka.com

(Published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 10 Issue 26, Dated 29 June 2013)

 

Narendra Modi- Can’t get away with murder #ishratjahan


June 18, 2013

Manoj Joshi, The Hindu

MISSING LINKS:Officers of forensic and intelligence agencies reconstructing the Ishrat Jahan encounter case on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. —PHOTO: PTI

MISSING LINKS:Officers of forensic and intelligence agencies reconstructing the Ishrat Jahan encounter case on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. —PHOTO: PTI

The Ishrat Jahan encounter case is like the proverbial can of worms whose contents have already spilled out. Not only has it shone the spotlight on the ruthless and, possibly, illegal manner in which the police and intelligence agencies fight terrorism, it has also exposed the Narendra Modi government’s poor record of managing the Gujarat police. And now, it has created schisms within the State police force, and between the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

At the outset, some plain facts: first, fake “encounter killings” — the term used for extrajudicial execution of criminals and alleged terrorists by the police — are not unique to Gujarat. Hundreds of them take place across the country and the policemen involved are often feted as “encounter specialists” whereas, in fact, what they specialise in is the cold-blooded and completely illegal executions of unarmed persons.

Second, there is no exemption for anyone in India’s security set-up to carry out extra-judicial executions. In other words, there is no Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) which indemnifies the State police, politicians or Central intelligence officials from killing alleged terrorists without judicial due process.

To harm Modi

Writing on his website earlier this month, the BJP leader, Arun Jaitley, reiterated the Gujarat police account that the Ishrat group was out to assassinate Mr. Modi and, based on information provided by the IB, it was intercepted and its four members killed in the encounter; after backing the State police version, the Union government changed tack and was now trying to use the case to attack the BJP.

A few “disgruntled police officials” formed the core of the CBI’s case and an effort was being made to target BJP ministers like Amit Shah and Gulab Chand Kataria of Rajasthan with the eventual aim of hitting at Mr. Modi. Now, the Union government had taken it a step further by undermining the IB in its pernicious campaign to harm Mr. Modi and the BJP.

Mr. Jaitley, also the former Union Law Minister during National Democratic Alliance rule, has not said much about the other extra-judicial killings in Gujarat. A Supreme Court mandated Special Task Force headed by a retired Justice H.S. Bedi is investigating 16 encounters that took place between 2003-2006 in Gujarat. In most of the encounters, those killed were alleged to be targeting Mr. Modi and other top BJP ministers in the State. This was the accusation against Sameer Khan Pathan, Sadiq Jamal, Mahendra Jadav, Ganesh Khunte, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Tulsi Prajapati, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh (aka Pranesh Pillai), Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana. It is another story that most were petty criminals and there is no real evidence that they were out to kill Mr. Modi.

As for Ishrat and her companions, there is considerable mystery about their antecedents and how they came together. As Mr. Jaitley points out, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) journal, Ghazwa Times , acknowledged her as a cadre, and later withdrew its claim. News leaks claim that the LeT operative, David Coleman Headley (Daood Gilani), had told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that Ishrat had been recruited by the LeT and that this fact had been communicated to the Indian intelligence, or the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). But there is no reference to Ishrat in the NIA’s report of Headley which was made available to the media and which did have some references to other LeT plots that Headley was aware of. There is something to the issue though since G.K. Pillai, the Union Home Secretary in 2009, acknowledged an affidavit of his ministry to the Gujarat High Court that said there was intelligence information that Ishrat and her companions were terror suspects. More recently, in 2011, Mr. Pillai had reiterated that he stood by the IB tip that linked Ishrat Jahan to an LeT module.

But whether or not Ishrat and her group were terrorists is not the issue. What the Gujarat police officials are being charged with is extra-judicial killing. There are no exemptions in the law for carrying out fake encounters even if the targets are terrorists. The IB is not exempt from the operation of the law of the land either. Mr. Jaitley, of all people, should know that only the judiciary has the right to order an execution, and, after due process.

The ugly truth is that the Gujarat government cynically used the instrument of extra-judicial executions to burnish their own anti-Muslim credentials. In the process, their police officials and, possibly, their ministers, have broken the law. The behaviour of Gujarat police officers such as D.G. Vanzara among others was perhaps most brazen because of the protection they felt that they had from the then Home minister Amit Shah, and, possibly, Mr. Modi. Murder is a very grave charge, and it is far more serious when those accused of it are officials or ministers of the government sworn to uphold the law of the land. Whether or not the police officials who have given the CBI evidence of the wrongdoings of the Gujarat police officers are disgruntled doesn’t really matter. What matters is the truth, and the legal consequences thereafter.

Then there is the issue of the IB. Whether or not Rajendra Kumar, the IB Joint Director in Gujarat, crossed a legal threshold can only be determined through further investigation, and may eventually have to be dealt with by the courts. But there has been something deeply disturbing about the manner in which India’s internal intelligence agency has worked on some terrorism cases in the past. There are several incidents — the Ansal Plaza “encounter” of 2002, or the 2006 attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters, to name just two — which appear to have been staged for domestic political effect, rather than any other purpose. Incidentally, one of the incidents was during the rule of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and the other, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Independent body

There are no independent means of verifying whether the IB stays within the red lines of the law when it gathers intelligence information or processes and forwards it to State police forces because there is no oversight mechanism to ensure that. Alone among the democracies, India keeps its intelligence agencies away from parliamentary oversight and, indeed, there is little or no internal oversight either. Likewise, short of recourse to the courts, there are no means available to the citizen to take up the issue of police excesses. The result is the persistence of a culture of impunity among the police and intelligence authorities.

Hopefully, on the issue of the Gujarat extra-judicial killings, the courts will weigh the evidence that the SIT and CBI have gathered. Those accused will have the opportunity to respond, and the courts will weigh the evidence and pronounce their verdict. But given the gravity of the charges, there must be some greater takeaway for our security set-up. First, there is the need for a mechanism to ensure that charges of police excesses are quickly investigated and dealt with. Second, terrorism or no terrorism, the intelligence agencies of the country need to function within the law, and this is not something that can be done on the basis of self-certification, but a fact established through an independent, internal inspectorate, as well as a larger parliamentary oversight system.

(Manoj Joshi is Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation and a member of the National Security Task Force 2011-2012, whose recommendations are before the Cabinet Committee on Security.)

The new twists in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case highlight the need for parliamentary oversight of intelligence agencies

 

#India – ‘Who Killed my daughter Ishrat Jehan ? #Vaw


Statement by Shamima Kauser mother of deceased Ishrat

June 18, 2013

Image

18th June, 2013

My daughter Ishrat Jehan was abducted, illegally confined and killed in cold blood by officers and men of the Gujarat police, in June 2004. She was killed as part of a larger conspiracy which had a political agenda. Ishrat’s murder was projected as an ‘encounter’ and justified by branding her a terrorist who had come with 3 other men to attack the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. This was not the first fake encounter in Gujarat, other Muslims too had been executed in similar staged encounters, committed in the name of protecting the Chief Minster of Gujarat. Some of these other fake encounters, which are nothing but pre meditated extra judicial killings, are already under investigation and prosecution.

My young college going daughter, Ishrat, was studying and working to earn and support her brothers and sisters, after the death of her father. Since the day of her murder, I have been stating hat my daughter was innocent and had no links whatsoever with any terrorist or criminal activity. The same was categorically asserted by me in the Writ Petition field by me in August 2004, before the Gujarat High Court, seeking a CBI enquiry to establish the innocence of my daughter and justice through punishment of her killers.

For 9 long years the Gujarat state, has abused its power, to obstruct, delay and derail the investigation, so that the hands and masterminds behind this heinous crime are shielded from legal accountability. The State of Gujarat and its senior IPS officers have filed frivolous and vexatious petitions in the Supreme Court, coerced witnesses, and deployed many other unlawful tactics. My lawyers have resolutely met each challenge and worked to uncover the truth.

The report of the judicial enquiry by the Magistrate Shri S.P. Tamang, in September 2009, concluded that my daughter was innocent and had been murdered by Gujarat police officers and men. The SIT appointed by the Gujarat High Court, under the Chairmanship of Shri R.R. Verma, too concluded in 2011, that the encounter was fake and not genuine and that Ishrat Jehan had been killed in prior custody. Under directions of the Gujarat High Court the investigation was transferred to the CBI and a FIR for murder and other grave crimes lodged in 2011.

The CBI is investigating the murder of my daughter and 3 others. This investigation is being monitored by the Gujarat High Court and a status report of the investigation is regularly filed before the High Court. I have always placed my faith in the Court and pray that the Hon’ble High Court will ensure that my struggle for justice is not in vain. The CBI investigation has already led to the arrest of many senior Gujarat police officers and men. The CBI investigation has revealed that complicit in the staged fake encounter of Ishrat and 3 others in 2004, were not only police officers of Gujarat, but others as well.

The evidence collected by the CBI, as expressed to the High Court on the last date of hearing i.e. 14th June 2013, points to a larger conspiracy. The conspiracy appears to include Mr. Rajendra Kumar a senior officer of the Intelligence Bureau. The CBI counsel stated before the High Court on 14thJune, 2013, that their investigation shows that IB Officer Mr. Rajendra Kumar not only knew about the illegal detention of my daughter Ishrat but was directing the operations.  I am astonished and distressed to hear that attempts are being made to protect Mr. Rajendra Kumar from arrest and custodial interrogation by the CBI.

I am also surprised that the media is projecting the CBI investigation as an attack on the institution of IB. To my mind, what is worrying, if not dangerous, for the security of India, is if high ranking officers in institutions such as the IB, abuse their position and fabricate information, to advance a communal and politically motivated agenda. It is in the interest of the country if such people are weeded out of the IB and the security of all the people of India protected.

Clearly, the investigation of the CBI is moving in the right direction and to thwart it a very crude and motivated move was orchestrated, by planting some audio-tapes with a private media channel viz. Headlines Today. There is not a whisper of allegation against my daughter Ishrat Jehan in these so-called IB audio recordings. Significantly the timing of the broadcast of these tapes, on 13th June 2013, by a compliant private TV channel, the night before the hearing by the High Court, not only makes them highly suspect, but in fact betrays that they are desperate to shield the guilty. I would like to state here that my lawyers will be sending a legal notice and will initiate appropriate legal action against Headlines Today TV channel for the false, scandalous and defamatory statements made against my deceased daughter Ishrat Jehan.

When the next day the Additional Advocate General of Gujarat, brandished these planted and concocted CDs before the High Court, on 14th June, 2013 and made specious arguments for them to be taken on record, the nefarious design and purpose was clear to all. The Gujarat High Court not only rejected this fallacious plea of the State of Gujarat, but also sternly reminded it of its constitutional duty to protect its citizens and admonished it for continually obstructing the investigation into the staged encounter.

I strongly reject and denounce each and every allegation and statement that refers to my deceased daughter Ishrat Jehan as being a terrorist or having any links with any terrorist activity or group. In the past too attempts have been made to taint the name of deceased Ishrat by planting false, concocted and baseless news reports. What is significant is that the judicial enquiry and impartial and professional investigation have always upheld the innocence of Ishrat.

The State of Gujarat has on each hearing before the High Court argued strenuously to disrupt and disturb the CBI team that is investigating the killing of Ishrat and others. As I observe the progress of this investigation, I ask the following questions. Why is the State of Gujarat so keen, almost desperate to remove Mr. Satish Verma, IPS, from this investigation? What does the State of Gujarat fear this diligent and honest investigation will reveal? Who are the persons the State of Gujarat is trying to protect?

I have a right to know the complete truth – who killed my daughter Ishrat Jehan, who masterminded her murder, who stood to gain from the cold blooded killing of a young Muslim girl. I have a right to complete justice, and for that it is necessary that the entire conspiracy is unearthed and all those responsible for eliminating my innocent daughter are indicted, charged prosecuted and punished.

#India – Mining scam in Karnataka keeps getting bigger


BANGALORE, June 17, 2013

Sudipto Mondal, The Hindu 

Karnataka government lost Rs. 2000 crore in Commercial Taxes. File photo
The Hindu Karnataka government lost Rs. 2000 crore in Commercial Taxes. File photo

The epic proportions of the illegal mining scam that was uncovered by the Karnataka Lokayukta in its 2011 report may actually have been just one act of a much larger, more complex and multi-layered drama.

 

There is now new evidence to suggest that the Lokayukta’s final report on illegal mining – a political game-changer that sent the powerful to jail and catalysed a regime change in the state – is just one part of the mining story. A six-month-long investigation by The Hindu, with help from whistleblowers in the Railways, the Karnataka Commercial Taxes Department and the CBI, points to losses to the State exchequer between January 2006 and December 2010 that are, at the very least, Rs. 1 lakh crore or eight times the estimated figure given in the Lokayukta report. The investigation also shows that the State lost Rs. 2,000 crore in commercial taxes.

 

The new information suggests that the dominant narrative on illegal mining, namely, that illegal ore was mainly exported to China to feed an infrastructure boom triggered by the Beijing Olympics, is actually a very partial telling of the mining scam story. The new data with The Hindu furthers the depth and reach of the mining scam, a part of which was so exhaustively covered in the Lokayukta report.

 

Some our central findings are as follows.

 

The Lokayukta report says that 12.57 crore tonnes of iron ore was exported overseas from Karnataka between 2006 and 2010. However, documents with The Hindu reveal that nearly 35 crore tonnes of ore was transported out of Bellary in the same period. If one were to deduct the 12.57 crore tonnes exported (as per Lokayukta report), the remaining the 22.43 crore tonnes was sold in the domestic market.

 

The Lokayukta report estimates the losses to the exchequer at Rs. 12,228 crore. The organisation’s calculation was based on the fact that the government had given permits for extraction for only 9.58 crores tonnes of ore. Subtracted from the 12.57 crore tonnes exported, it meant that 2.98 crore tonnes of ore was illegally mined and exported. The Lokayukta estimated the price of ore exported at an average of Rs. 4,103 per tonne.

 

What explains the divergence between the findings of the Lokayukta and those of The Hindu? The Lokayukta has relied on Customs Department data on ore shipments exported from 10 ports in Karnataka, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh between 2006 and 2010, to calculate the quantum of ore that left the country.

 

By contrast, The Hindu has looked at the total quantity of ore transported out of Bellary by road and rail. Railway documents show that 20 crore tonnes of iron ore was transported out of Bellary from six railway stations and 14 railway sidings between 2006 and 2010. Of this, nearly 19 crore tonnes of ore was marked “for export”.

 

From data sources in the CBI and Commercial Taxes Department, we know that lorries carried at least 14 crore tonnes of ore out of Bellary by road in the nine months between September 2009 and June 2010. “This was when the Bellary [Reddy] brothers had rebelled against B.S. Yeddyurappa’s government. The rebellion was a smokescreen to intensify illegal mining. At least 20,000 trucks were leaving Bellary each day in that period,” a CBI official told The Hindu.

 

Leaving out these nine months, on each day between 2006 and 2010 an average of 1,000 lorries left Bellary, with an average load of 32 tonnes of ore per truck. This adds nearly another 4 crore tonnes to the overall tally.

 

Therefore nearly 35 crore tonnes of iron ore was transported from Bellary in four years time by lorries and railway wagons.

 

Officers in the Commercial Taxes Department and the CBI concur on the point that 35 crore tonnes of ore could not have been exported from the ports near Bellary. “All the 10 ports [from where stolen ore was being exported] put together simply don’t have the capacity to handle such massive traffic,” said one Commercial Taxes officer.

 

These sources agree with the Lokayukta report to the extent that only 12.57 tonnes was actually exported. “On this count, the Lokayukta report is accurate as it is Customs Department data on which the report is based,” said an officer.

 

However, the remaining 22.43 crore tonnes of ore, although marked “for export”, was supplied domestically, he says. This, the officer claims, was done to evade commercial taxes.

 

Ishrat Jahan case: HC raps CBI, tells it to focus on encounter angle


The court also came down heavily on the state government for trying to put the CD on record (of alleged conservations between those killed in the encounter and their Pakistani handlers) and told them to submit the evidence before CBI

Ahmedabad, Jun 14 (PTI):  High Court today rapped the  for delay in filing its charge sheet in the alleged fake encounter case, asking it to ascertain the genuineness of the encounter instead of focusing on  inputs and trying to figure out whether those killed were terrorists or not.

“Prime facie, we find that instead of investigating the genuineness of the encounter, the CBI has focused more on the genuineness of the inputs provided by the IB,” a division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari observed.

“It seems that in past one month you were more interested in figuring out whether the killed persons were terrorists or not but the court is not concerned whether they were terrorists or normal human beings. In any case they should not have been liquidated,” the court observed.

“You have been assigned responsibility to ascertain whether they were killed in a genuine encounter or a fake one and whether they were in prior custody of Gujarat police or not,” the court said.

Court asked CBI to explain why it failed to file the charge sheet within 90 days of the arrest of accused, to which CBI responded that it is very large case of conspiracy and investigation has led us from one point to another which has caused the delay.

The delay in filing the charge sheet has resulted in five accused police officers including IPS G L Singhal securing bail.

The CBI told the court that it will file the charge sheet in the case by first week of July.

But that could not satisfy the court which said that they have doubts that the probe agency would file the charge sheet even by second week of July.

The CBI, on the instruction of the High Court, had taken over the probe of the alleged fake encounter in which 19-year-old Ishrat, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed on the outskirts of the city on June 15, 2004 allegedly by a Crime Branch team led by DIG D G Vanzara.

The court also came down heavily on the state government for trying to put the CD on record (of alleged conservations between those killed in the encounter and their Pakistani handlers) and told them to submit the evidence before CBI.

On behalf of Gujarat Government, Additional Advocate (AAG) General Tushar Mehta, while requesting the court to take the CD on record, claimed that it was a ‘clinching’ evidence showing the persons who were killed were terrorists and that the encounter was genuine.

“This CD, duly endorsed by the highest officer of IB, contains clinching evidence which shows that those who were killed were terrorists and they were killed in genuine encounter,” Mehta claimed.

However, the bench flatly refused to take the request from the state government and observed that, “this is not the right stage and right court to produce any kind of evidence in this case. If you consider it as important piece of evidence submit it to CBI or you can later produce it before the trial court. We are not entertaining it.”

Meanwhile, taking note of some media reports that CBI director has decided to discontinue the services of Gujarat IPS officer Satish Verma who is assisting it in the case investigation on court orders, the bench asked CBI to clarify whether they need further services of Verma or not.

On this, CBI lawyer Ejaz Khan made it clear that agency needs the services of Verma till the investigation concludes.

After getting instructions from CBI he re-submitted that, “at least till the filing of charge sheet we will need his full time services and then his services may be availed whenever its needed.”

This was supported by counsels representing Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kausar and Javed’s father Gopinath Pillai.

They urged the court to continue Verma’s services on the grounds that investigation was at a crucial stage and Verma should be permitted to perform the responsibility he has been assigned to.

Next hearing of the case is scheduled on June 18.

During past one month, CBI arrested suspended IPS officer D G Vanzara, (prime accused in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case) who is now lodged in Sabarmati jail under judicial custody, following his five days custodial interrogation by the central agency.

CBI had also summoned and grilled Special Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajendra Kumar in the Ishrat case with regard to the inputs generated about four ‘terrorists’ entering Gujarat to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Since the last hearing in High Court, five Gujarat policemen, accused in this case, were granted bail as the central agency failed to file its charge sheet against them within 90 days of their arrest.

Suspended IPS officer G L Singhal, Tarun Barot, J G Parmar, Bharat Patel and Anaju Chaudhary got the benefit of bail because of delay on the part of CBI in filing the charge sheet in the case.

Apart from grilling Rajendra Kumar, the agency had also summoned and examined former DGP of the state K R Kaushik, who was Police Commissioner of the city when the 2004 encounter took place.

As per the FIR registered by Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) in 2004, on receiving intelligence inputs from Kaushik, which were passed on to then Joint Commissioner of Police (DCB), Ahmedabad P P Pandey, they had cordoned off the city and upon arrival of the four, had intercepted them at the outskirts of the city where the encounter took place.

CBI had also examined Special Public Prosecutor at City civil and sessions court Sudhir Brahmabhatt, who was then a public prosecutor.

 

Shehla Masood Case- Saba’s counsel to file contempt case against jail staff


My Friend Shehla Masood

My Friend Shehla Masood

TNN | Jun 1, 2013, 

INDORE: A representative of Reliance Communication, Santosh Jadhav appreared before the special CBI court on Friday and got his statements recorded during the hearing on RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case on Friday. Two other witnesses namely, Anil Saini and Badre Aalam could not appear for family and personal reasons.Next hearing of case is schedule for July 3.

Defense counsel Mahendra Morya said that Santosh Jadhav gave details about six mobile numbers including a cell phone number related to main accused Zahida Pervez and Irfan.

Anil Kumar, counsel of Zahida Pervez, told media that she was innocent and was being falsely implicated. He alleged that CBI has trained witnesses about what to speak before presenting them before court.

Sunil Shrivastav, counsel of another accused and friend of Zahida, Saba Faoorqui said they are contemplating to file a case of contempt of court against jail authorities. He said Saba is suffering from some medical complication and her health is deteriorating. They had filed a petition in this regard with the court in March on which court had ordered to submit medical report in two weeks time, but jail authorities has yet not submitted the report.

Shehla Masood was killed in August 2011 in front of her house when she was about to leave for office in her car. Police arrested Zahida Pervez, Saba Farooqui, Saqib Danger, Irfan and Tabish in connection of the murder and all the accused are right now in jail in Indore as under trial.

 

CBI shocker to intel officer who holds key to 4 fake encounters


Gujarat EDN

AM  30MAY2013

Summons to IB officer Rajinder Kumar not only gives a spin to state’s fake encounter cases but also the unsolved Haren Pandya murder case

Ahmedabad Mirror Bureau amfeedback@timesgroup.in

The summons issued by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to Intelligence Bureau chief Rajinder Kumar will not only give a spin to fake enounters in the state but may shed light on the controversial and unsolved Haren Pandya murder case. Kumar was the only person that time with the Central IB to give to Gujarat cops in-puts of possible terror attacks.
Kumar, who was posted in Gujarat in the past, is believed to have played a dubious role during Godhra riots and even in the assassination case of former minister Haren Pandya by providing misleading and, at times, fabricated intelligence inputs. Mirror reported last year that the CBI was keen to investigate if IB inputs were specially generated at the Centre for Gujarat and if they were fabricated to assist Gujarat cops in their fake encounter mission. Incidentally,
it was Kumar who passed the leads
from central IB to state police for
almost all the encounters that took place between 2002 and 2007 in the state. At least four of them have proved to be staged killings.
After a lull following prolonged legal battles, the CBI is back to rat-tle Narendra Modi government over the several fake encounters that were staged by the trigger-happy Gujarat police to please their political bosses. The state government was initially rattled with the CBI failing to file a charge sheet in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case against suspended IPS officer G L Singhal and others and now the agency has issued summons to Kumar who gave constant inputs from the central IB to Gujarat cops.
EX-DGP SREEKUMAR ON IB OFFICER
On March 26, 2003, Pandya was assassinated and his father Vithalbhai Pandya said that it was a “a political murder”. Incidentally, Modi had ordered tapping of Pandya’s telephone, sources said. Subsequent development showed that it was not the only time that the CM had ordered tapping of senior politicians’ phone, they added. At a meeting on April 16, 2002, Modi told retired DGP R B Sreekumar that Congress leaders, in particular Shankersinh Vaghela, were responsible for the continuing communal violence in the state. Sreekumar told Modi that he had no information on their involvement in the communal violence. At this, Modi asked him to tap Vaghela’s phone but Sreekumar refused, saying he had no information on the basis of which he could order surveillance.
Interestingly, two days later, Kumar, then posted in Ahmedabad as IB joint director, sold the same line to Sreekumar. When Sreekumar sought specific information, the IB man said he had none. The IB had been one of the few claiming the Godhra incident was a ‘pre-planned conspiracy’. It is still not clear how the IB was able to reach this conclusion within hours of the incident and questions have been raised on Kumar’s proximity to Modi.
Kumar also floated the theory that theGodhracarnagewasanISIconspiracy. This was done within hours of S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express catching fire near Godhra station killing 59 passengers on February 27, 2002. This has also been told to the Supreme Courtmandated SIT on may 9, 2008 by retired DGP R B Sreekumar.
Sources said as the chief of central IB in a state, he was expected to share his actionable intelligence with the DGPoratbestwiththecommissioners ofpolice.But,Kumarusedtofrequently visit Ahmedabad Crime Branch office at Gaekwad Haveli to meet D G Vanzara, who was its then chief.
MODI AND KUMAR
It is said that Kumar became close to Modi when the former was posted in Chandigarh. Modi at that time was BJP’s Punjab in-charge.
Sources said the modus operandi of Gujarat police was to first detain a person illegally and then get inputs from the central IB of a likely terror attack.
A selected coterie of Gujarat police officers close to those in power would bump off “dreaded terrorists on a mission to assassinate top BJP leaders, mainly Chief Minister Narendra Modi”. Investigations later proved that those eliminated were either petty criminals or innocent people labelled as terrorists by Gujarat police.
Interestingly, intelligence inputs givenbyKumartothestatepolicecontradicted the two previous IB inputs issued in the same case. Not just that, a charge sheet filed by Gujarat police in a lesser-known case of gambling against Sadiq Jamal also exposed the lie of Gujarat police and provided evidence that the encounter was staged. Forensic reports and the testimony of an IB officer substantiated the claim that Sadiq was killed in a fake encounter.
15 DAYS TO RETIRE
Reliable sources in Delhi said that Kumar was highly influential in IB and the summons have been issued as he could be a part of the conspiracy. Kumar has been asked to remain present on Friday at 11 am at CBI headquarters in New Delhi. CBI Director Ranjit Sinha and Special Director Salim Ali will interrogate him. The summons have been issued when only 15 days are left for his retirement.
NOT A TERRORIST ATTACK
Sources said if a terrorist attack happens or is about to happen, the Army personnel in that particular region investigateontheirown.InPandyacase, Army did not go ahead with the investigationwhenitrealisedthatitwasnot aterrorist attack but a political matter. Also, the Army, state IB and central IB work parallel and share information. However, in Pandya’s case, that did not happen.
A source said, “After the investigation of Pandya’s murder was transferredtoCBI,ateamwasconstitutedin the crime branch to assist in arresting the accused in cohesion with Kumar. ItwasthenrevealedthatIPSofficerAbhay Chudasama was specially inducted in the team. A series of happenings in Gujarat in the last few years has revealed the involvement of former minister Amit Shah, Vanzara and Chudasama in foisting false cases and propagatingatheoryconducivetothe powers-that-be. The Sohrabuddin case has shown the extent to which a minister in Modi government, with the help of two police officers, can go to eliminate innocent woman Kauserbi and liquidated prime witness Tulsi Prajapati. These happenings cannot be ignored.”
SADIQ JAMAL ENCOUNTER CASE
The killing of Sadiq Jamal is one of the caseswhichwillbrewtroubleforGujarat police. Jamal was killed in a police encounter on January 13 in 2003 near Galaxy Cinema in Naroda. As many as 17policeofficersarefacingallegations of hatching the conspiracy to eliminate Jamal.
Interestingly, Gujarat police cited a similar reason for eliminating Samir Khan Pathan, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh and Sohrabuddin Sheikh. The CBI investigations have found serious lacunae in Gujarat CID (crime) probe in this case. Intelligence inputs given at that time by Kumar also bear discrepancies.
Incidentally, Kumar’s name is also mentioned in the FIR filed by Sadik’s brother Shabbir Jamal. Kumar’s name has also been referred to in the statement of Anupamsingh Gehlot, the then Bhavnagar district superintendent of police who said that Kumar had informed him about Jamal.
ISHRAT ENCOUNTER
Ishrat Jahan, a college student from Mumbra along with Javed alias Pranesh Pillai and two Pakistanis Amjad AliRanaandZeeshanJoharwerekilled in a fake encounter at Hansol on June 15, 2004. Over 21 police officers, including K R Kaushik, P P Pandey, D G Vanzara, G L Singhal, N K Amin, K M Vaghela, J G Parmar, V D Vanar, S B Agravat, D H Goswami, R I Patel, D A Chavda, Tarun Barot, K S Desai, Ibrahim Kalubhai Chauhan, Mohanbhai Lalubhai Kalasva, Mukesh Vyas, Nizamuddin Barhanmiya, Anaju Ziman ChaudharyanddriversBhalabhaiand Mohanbhai Nanjirao have been named in the case. But CBI investigations now may lead to some more names. Gujarat cops killed 19-yearold Ishrat saying she was an LeT terrorist on a mission to kill Modi along with other BJP and VHP leaders. They said they killed her on basis on intelligence received from the Centre. The CBI has not only found discrepancies in versionsofallstateofficersinvolvedbutit is even examining the role played by a senior central IB officer in this case.
FALSE ALERT?
JUNE 15, 2004
Ishrat Jahan fake encounter. Kumar gave an input that two Pakistanis along with Ishrat and Pranesh Pillai planned to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other politicians.
JANUARY 13, 2003
Sadiq Jamal encounter. Kumar gave an input that Sadiq travelling from Dubai had planned to kill Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia
JUNE 23, 2003
Ganesh Khute encounter. Kumar gave an input that two people coming to Mumbai plan to kill BJP minister Ashok Bhatt and others.
MARCH 17, 2006
Vatva Ganga row house. Kumar gave an input that a few people are into illegal activities and plan to kill top politician of Gujarat (four people were shot in encounter).

Shehla Masood murder: Zaheda was insecure of Singh, claims witness #Vaw


May 31, 2013Indore: A prosecution witness in the RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case told the court in Indore on Friday that the main accused, Zaheda Parvez, had become ‘possessive’ about BJP MLA Dhruvnarayan Singh and resented Masood’s friendship with him.

Zaheda Parvez. PTI

Zaheda Parvez. PTI

Deposing before the special CBI court in Indore, Sanjay Gupta, a Bhopal-based industrialist and the BJP MLA’s friend, said that Zaheda always suspected the women who came in contact with Dhruvnarayan.

He further told the court that after the murder, Zaheda had a phone conversation with him. When he bemoaned Shehla’s death, she said, “One always pays for the bad deeds. As you sow, so shall you reap.”

According to the CBI, Zaheda had Shehla killed because she was jealous of the latter’s increasing closeness to the BJP MLA.

Shehla was shot dead outside her Bhopal residence on 16 August, 2011. Police have arrested five persons in the case including Zaheda Parvez.

Gupta also said that Dhruvnarayan had told him that Zaheda once had a fight with him when he had gone to Shehla’s residence.

According to Gupta, Dhruvnarayan had called him on 16 August, 2011 and gave him the news of murder.

Dhruvnarayan told him to pass on the message to Shehla’s father Sultan Masood that the MLA was at a temple and would go there later, Gupta said, adding that he passed on the message to Masood.

 

2006 Malegaon blasts: Probe against Maha ATS, CBI officials likely


Last Updated: Friday, May 24, 2013,
 
New Delhi: Maharashtra‘s elite Anti-terror Squad and CBI officials, who probed the 2006 Malegaon blasts, may have to face probe as the Centre has taken a serious view of allegations that nine Muslim youths were framed with malafide intentions.

Taking note of the chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency earlier this week in which four suspected members of right-wing groups were named as accused, senior officials in Home Ministry, the cadre-controlling authority of IPS, said the Maharashtra Government may be “advised” to probe the role of then ATS officials who had allegedly been framed.

 
The case was registered by Maharashtra ATS with Rajvardhan, then Additional Superintendent of Police of Nasik (Rural).

Abrar Ahmed, who was named by the ATS as an accused, had alleged in an affidavit that then DIG of ATS Subodh Jaiswal (at present on deputation to RAW) and then ATS chief KP Raghuvanshi had “doctored” a confessional statement from him.

Later, the case was probed by CBI whose Joint Director Arun Kumar, at present Additional Director General of Uttar Pradesh Police, but the families of the accused approached the court saying no CBI team ever visited or took their statement.

The supposed transcript of telephone conversation submitted by CBI along with its supplementary chargesheet which purportedly showed Abrar Ahmed hatching the conspiracy was not authentic, the families of the nine accused had claimed in their petitions.

ATS and CBI had earlier filed a charge sheet against the nine Muslim youth and charged them with triggering explosive devices on September 8, 2006 at Malegaon.

The youth, who were behind bars for five years, were released as NIA did not oppose their bail plea.

PTI