[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

 

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.

 

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).

Narendra Modi – Caesar can do no wrong


 Narandra Modi's Vibrant Gujarat Story: Propaganda vs Fact #mustread


 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

 

After his triumph in Karnataka where he thundered in four electoral constituencies, losing all four to the Congress whom it seems his fulminations did not persuade the crowds to “hate” enough, Narendra Damodar Modi found more  accolades  awaiting him at home in Gandhinagar,  where he is used to being  Caesar,  for his customary good governance.  Good governance that began in early  2002 with the decisive quelling of the uppity Gujarati Muslims, yielding a decade of funereal  peace and quiet conducive to profit maximization.

A Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court has had the gumption to accuse his government of “shielding, protecting, and siding with police officials” arraigned in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter killing.

At a time when stories of  executive interference in the investigative workings of the  Central Bureau of Investigation are the flavour of the electronic channels, justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari observed  how the Special Investigation Team had earlier alleged interference on the part of the State, while the CBI report left no doubt that the State government was shielding the accused cops  (see The Hindu, May 11).  Just to remind ourselves that, apart from being Caesar, Modi is also the Home minister of the state, and has been so from day one.

Poor CBI has recently been driven to issuing  an arrest warrant against Additional Director General of Police, P.P. Pandey—no less—who seems to have gone missing with the benign connivance of the government in Gujarat, a circumstance rather reminiscent of the many months through which the convicted and sentenced Babu Bajrangi was shielded and hidden away  under the aegis of Caesar himself as per Bajrangi’s confessions  on the Tehelka  Sting tapes.  One has of course lost count of the number of similarly high-ranking police officers similarly accused in other fake encounter killings  who are cooling their heels in the slammer—all, no doubt,  testimony to the proverbial good governance of Narendra Modi.  Ask an Adani, or an Ambani, or a Tata, and they would tell you how all these underside happenings are of little account so long as good   governance keeps extending to unimpeded freebies and bonanzaz for them in the supreme  “national interest.”  Indeed the latest to join that chorus is the redoubtable  icon of entrepreneurial success and probity, Shri  Narayanmurthi. It seems the shining roads of Ahmedabad have done it for him.

Then there is the case of the senior IPS officer, Satish Verma, who was a member of the SIT in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter  case,  and the first to call the killing a cold blooded murder.  While the Court had instructed the CBI to continue to avail of the services of Satish Verma inorder to nab the other accused, the State government sought his services elsewhere in  habitual deflection of Court  orders.

In the meanwhile, news comes that the judicial magistrate who had been hearing Zakia Jaffri’s  Protest Petition on a day to day basis has been transferred after a week or so into the hearings. Just to recall that the Protest Petition challenges the conclusions drawn by the Raghavan-led  SIT whom the Supreme Court had appointed to enquire into the Gulberg massacre case.     The challenge, which is based on hitherto concealed evidence comprising call records and case diaries pertaining to the fateful days—Feb.,27 to March 1, 2002—demonstrates, for those who care to see, both the complicity of the Gujarat government at the highest level in the killings, and the failure or unwillingness of the SIT to admit such evidence and draw the inferences it should have drawn, although the amicus curiae in the case, also appointed by the Supreme Court,  was to independently hold that the evidence already recorded by the SIT was sufficient to warrant the filing of charges against Modi. Indeed the Supreme Court itself had been askance at the inexplicable divergence between the SIT’s  recorded evidence and its exoneratory  conclusions with respect to Modi.

It is not clear at the time of writing as to who might have been the authority that has  ordered the transfer of the magistrate in the case, the Hight Court or the Government.  If the former, it is regrettable that the honourable court should not have considered  the delay, perhaps an inordinate one, that will not but be caused in the disposal of the Petition, since a new incumbent cannot but take a great deal of time to master the details of the SIT report, and the more than a thousand pages of text and audio-visual evidence annexed thereof  challenging the exonerative conclusions by the SIT.  If, on the other hand, the transferring authority in the case has been the Gujarat government, what could be a greater giveaway of how, true to pattern,  it intends to thwart consideration  of the Protest Petition, since its admittance would lead directly to the filing of charges against  the accused listed by  the Petitioner, at the head of which list happens to be Narendra Modi.

A further piece of news concerns Shri Gulab Chand Kataria, an erstwhile minister and bigwig in the Rajasthan BJP, who has been now charge -sheeted for complicity in the Sohrabuddin  fake encounter murder.  The  BJP top brass sees this to be a sinister conspiracy on behalf of the Congress party which it accuses of using the CBI in the matter with the ulterior purpose of going after Modi.  Poor CBI, it can do nothing right, except when it aids and abets the BJP in its difficult times.  Sterling example:  the murder of Modi’s  cabinet colleague, the late Haren Pandya was generally recognized for what it was—a supari killing to eliminate the prospect of Pandya  testifying openly  to what had transpired at the meeting Modi held with his sartraps on the late evening of February, 27, 2002.  Recall that he had actually confided to the Citizens’s Enquiry Panel that Modi had issued instructions to his police not to thwart the vendetta on behalf of Hindus that was sure to happen the next day during the VHP  bandh call which was supported by the BJP. The investigation in the matter was passed on to the CBI by the then Home Minister of India, L.K. Advani, and, lo and behold, the CBI quickly concluded the murder to have been the work of “jehadi elements”.  Interestingly, all the accused were  freed as innocent victims by the Court, and the real killers were never investigated or caught.  The BJP and the then NDA government at the centre tom -tommed this finding of the CBI as exemplary proof of the disinformation against Modi.  And yet, the same CBI’s  case against Gulab Chand Kataria is a priori being propagandized by the BJP top brass as a case of proven vendetta.  Just to note: from all available independent sources that have thus far gone into the Sohrabuddin killing, as well as the subsequent murders of his wife, Kausar Bi, and the only witness to the events, Tulsi Ram Prajapati, the CBI may indeed have an open and shut case against both Kataria and Amit Shah, the latter  erstwhile Minister of State for Home affairs under Modi at the time, and already charged.

However you look at it,  there continues to be an exonerative Teflon all over Narendra Modi; no matter what sorts of facts keep emerging about his reign in Gujarat, no screaming, holier-than-everybody  television anchor, not to speak of his own party people who never fail to point fingers every second of every day, and may I add with dismay, some noted mainline Dailies, may persuade  themselves   to think one bad thought about Modi.

The fact may be that, notwithstanding their  routine imprecations on behalf of democracy and the rule of law, most corporates who own these channels, and who fund the print media,  and the elites who cotton to them with gusto are all at bottom looking for the great dictator to arrive in  the blazing purity of saffron, willing to set the country right through  edicts in the  superman style.

When the American Constitutional regime was being considered, one of the central contentions was whether the new world should opt for a government of men or  laws.  As is well known, the chips fell in favour of laws, since the good book taught, and teaches, that all  humankind is depraved because of the “original” transgression of Adam and Eve.

It seems that here in India where in Hindu thought depravity is never a serious matter, and never  unmanageable at any rate, our forward-looking generation now pines for the  rule by one man who may, if he so wishes, be a law unto himself.

Currently, no Indian demogauge fits that requirement more than Modi.  Thus the Teflon and the immunity in elite perception.

___________________________________________________________________

Badri Raina,

 

Ishrat Encounter case: CBI court orders arrest warrant against Gujarat top cop


Business Standard
Ahmedabad May 2, 2013 Last Updated at 20:14 IST

Special CBI Judge asked for the issuance of an arrest warrant for Pande, who has gone underground and is allegedly being protected by the state government

A special CBI court in Ahmedabad on Thursday ordered that an arrest warrant be issued against Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) P P Pande, who according to the central agency was involved in 2004 alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others.

Special CBI Judge Gita Gopi agreeing with the demand of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), directed the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate to issue an arrest warrant for Pande, who as per the central agency had gone underground and was being protected by the state government.

Last week CBI DySP and investigating officer of the encounter case G Kalaimani had filed a revision application challenging the order, dated April 25, of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) of the CBI court which had rejected CBI’s demand for the issuance of arrest warrant for Additional DGP (Crime) Pande.

CBI, in its revision application had sought issuance of arrest warrant for Pande under section 73 of the CrPC (criminal Procedure Code), and claimed that the senior IPS officer was evading CBI and it has become necessary for the agency to seek court’s help.

Counsel for the CBI had told the court during arguments on the application that they had issued two summons, on April 22 and 24 respectively to Pande, but he had not responded to it.

When CBI went to his residence at Ahmedabad, his son refused to give information about Pande’s whereabouts and his official mobile phone was also not reachable, he had added.

CBI wants to interrogate Pande in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, but was not able to do so because the officer was not traceable. Therefore, it had approached the court seeking issuance of arrest warrant for Pande.

Pande, a 1980 batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, was Joint Police Commissioner of Ahmedabad crime branch, when on June 15, 2004, Ishrat Jahan along with Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in a police encounter on the outskirts of the city. After the encounter the crime branch officials had claimed that the four were terrorists and had come to Gujarat with a plan to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

In December 2011 the Gujarat High Court handed over the investigation in the encounter to CBI after a special investigation team appointed by it concluded that the killing of Ishrat and three others was stage managed by Gujarat police. As many as five cops have been arrested so far in the case by the CBI.

 

#India – The rugged road to justice,when offenders are govt officials


V. VASANTHI DEVI, The Hindu , March 28,2013

UGLY TRUTH: A custodial death is perhaps one of the worst crimes in a<br />
civilised society governed by the rules of law. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy” src=”<a href=http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/01409/28JAIL2_1409413f.jpg&#8221; />

UGLY TRUTH: A custodial death is perhaps one of the worst crimes in a civilised society governed by the rules of law. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
The circumstances surrounding the custodial death of a Dalit woman in Tamil Nadu in 2002 serve as a reminder of the difficulties in securing justice when the offenders are government functionaries

This is a case of justice being awarded after a decade. Last month, the Ramanathapuram Sessions Court sentenced eight policemen to rigorous imprisonment, for up to 10 years, for the 2002 custodial killing of Karuppi, a poor Dalit woman, at the Paramakudi police station in Tamil Nadu. It is a landmark judgment, and significant, as she was from the Arundhatiar caste, reckoned to be the lowest among Dalits.

The victim, Karuppi, 48, a domestic servant, had been accused of the theft of a gold chain from the house of her employer. She was interrogated at the police station and tortured for six days. Her body was found hanging from a transmission tower behind the police station in the early hours of December 1, 2002. The police registered it as a case of suicide and disclaimed its occurrence in the police station.

The Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women (TNSCW), of which I was the chairperson at the time, was petitioned by People’s Watch, a human rights organisation, for intervention alleging custodial death and intimidation of witnesses. I spoke to the Collector of Ramanathapuram district to arrange to meet Karuppi’s family. I inspected the police station and was certain that Karuppi could not have slipped out of the station that night and hanged herself. Later, I met her family who were alleged to be facing intimidation.

All of them narrated the same “official” story — having been caught thieving, Karuppi had killed herself out of shame and guilt, the policemen had no hand in her death and so on. My solemn assurances that they could confide in me were to no avail. They must have sounded feeble, weighed against the proximate threat to life and limb they faced from their habitual tormentors. I lost all hope of finding the truth and was ready to leave.

Turning point

Then the turning point. The last member to depose was Christu Das, the husband of Karuppi’s sister-in-law. Another inquiry that should have ended in a few minutes in utter frustration suddenly went on for two hours. The veil of secrecy that had shrouded the doctored depositions so far suddenly lifted and the pieces of a sordid story fell into place.

Christu Das fell at my feet. I was stunned to hear him say: “Amma, please save me and my children. We are in great danger. I have to tell you the truth, otherwise my ‘heart will not burn on my funeral pyre’.”

Once assured of my support, he felt comfortable enough to narrate the details.

On the night of November 26, 2002, Christu Das, his wife, Arumugam, and daughter were taken to the Paramakudi police station without the police furnishing any reason. They saw Karuppi chained in a room and were told that she had been arrested for the theft of jewels.

Christu Das was made to undress with only his underwear on, handcuffed and had his legs shackled to a table. From the next morning the police subjected him to constant physical assault and abuse. He learnt that he and his wife, and later the daughter and son-in-law of Karuppi were there to force Karuppi to confess.

For three days he was witness to her brutal torture by four policemen. She was beaten with lathis and her knuckles pierced with sharp needles. Her pleas that she was innocent cut no ice. Whenever Christu Das interceded, he too was beaten. After three days, the Christu Das family was let off.

On December 1, Christu Das and his wife learnt from a fish monger that the body of a woman had been found behind the police station and was in the hospital morgue.

At the hospital, their fears came true. It was Karuppi. Christu Das added that up till the time of my inquiry, the family members were being threatened by the police not to spill the beans.

Reports

I returned to Chennai, determined to expose the horrific case of a custodial death.

I got copies of the post-mortem report, First Information Report and inquest report from the Collector, Ramanathapuram. He said that five policemen, including an inspector had been suspended and an inquiry conducted by the sub-collector.

I sent the first and third reports to the head of the forensic department of a government hospital in Chennai.

His reply: “Patient died of Asphyxia due to acute ante mortem (AM) hanging with multiple contusions….. the age of the contusion is 1 to 3 days. Probably the wounds were caused by persons standing on the left (mostly in the lower limb) and in the right (mostly in the upper limb).

Opinion:

The victim was subjected to blunt force for a period of 1 to 3 days before her death. The contusion on the right forehead is a last injury caused by blunt force prior to her hanging.”

Armed with this, I wrote to the Home Secretary, with a copy addressed to the Chief Secretary, seeking a fair inquiry by the Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID) or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). This letter and its reminders were met by silence.

In my time, the TNSCW was not a statutory body and did not have the powers to summon witnesses and get them to depose under oath. I contacted the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, Poornima Advani and a joint public hearing was conducted by the National and Tamil Nadu State Commissions in Madurai on October 28, 2003.

There were a number of witnesses, including the family members of Karuppi, the sub-collector, Paramakudi, and the policemen in charge during the occurrence. We found, inter alia, that: Karuppi had been detained and tortured for six days; the post-mortem report showed extensive ante-mortem injuries on her body, making the police version of suicide unbelievable. We recommended compensation of Rs.2 lakh to the family of Karuppi and Rs.1 lakh each to Arumugam and Christu Das for the torture they had been subjected to. Our report was sent to the Tamil Nadu government. There was no action till March 2005, when my term as chairperson of the Commission ended.

In 2006, Sudha Ramalingam, advocate, Madras High Court, and legal counsel of the Commission in my time, filed a criminal original petition in the Madras High Court, on behalf of Mr. Henri Tiphagne, People’s Watch, to transfer investigation of the case from the file of the inspector, Paramakudi police station, to the CBI.

Two years later, in September, Justice K.N. Basha ordered the CB-CID to investigate the case expeditiously. “It is crystal clear that the victim was subjected to inhuman torture, humiliation and physical violence by the police officials. In view of such overwhelming materials available on record, this court is of the considered view that … a thorough investigation by independent agency is very much essential, more particularly in view of the accused involved in this case are the police officials.”

Fundamental rights

The trial of Karuppi’s case finally ended in the sessions court on February 14, 2013. Judge W. Sathasivam awarded 10 years rigorous imprisonment to five of the eight accused police men. Two other policemen were awarded seven and three years imprisonment respectively. A fine of Rs.1 lakh was imposed on Sahul Hamid, the then inspector. It was observed that “The accused, in a bid to cover up the “lock up death” removed (Karuppi’s) body from the women’s cell and hung it in a VHF tower behind the station to give an impression that she had committed suicide…”

I end with a quote in the judgment of Hon’ble Mr. Justice K.N. Basha citing the Supreme Court in D.K. Basu vs. State Of West Bengal: “Custodial death is perhaps one of the worst crimes in a civilised society governed by the rules of law…If the functionaries of the Government become law breakers, it is bound to breed contempt for [the] law and would encourage lawlessness, …thereby leading to anarchism. Does a citizen lose his fundamental right to life, the moment a policeman arrests him? …These questions touch the spinal cord of human rights jurisprudence.”

(V. Vasanthi Devi is a former chairperson, Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women, and former Vice-Chancellor, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tamil Nadu.)

 

#Aadhaar , UID officials snub ragpicker as her hands are too coarse! #WTFnews


English: Fingerprint

 

 

Every time the Bibwewadi resident visits the local aadhaar centre, she is sent back by the executives who maintain they can’t secure her fingerprints.

 

March 19, 2013

 

PUNE

 

Priyankka Deshpande

 

 

 

Bibewadi resident Shyama Acharekar (name changed to protect identity) has been doing the rounds of the local Aadhaar enrolment centre for over a month now. But she hasn’t had any luck so far. The ragpicker’s pleas are shot down every time by the executives at the office, who say they can’t secure her fingerprints as are hands are badly scratched up – an occupational hazard.

 

 

Though it’s a perplexing problem, Shyama is not the only one facing such issues. MiD DAY has learnt that many people working as daily wage labourers are confronted with similar problems while trying to get Aadhaar enrolment. Just like Shyama, intense physical toil has left them with scarred hands and scraped fingers, thus making it difficult for the representatives at UID centres to obtain their prints.

 

 

Laxmi Narayan, general secretary of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, pointed out that labourers and the poor are expected to be the primary beneficiaries of the Aadhar Yojana.

 

 

Labourers are being ill-treated by officials at the UID enrolment centres. One of the members of my organisation, who resides in Chinchwad, is a leprosy patient. UID officials say they are facing problems obtaining her fingerprints because of the disease,” Narayan said.

 

 

She claimed that officials had told such labourers to come back after month so in the interim they could confer with their superiors for a possible solution to overcome the problem. “But it seems they haven’t succeeded, as ragpickers like Shyama are still forced to come to the enrolment centres repeatedly,” said Narayan.

 

 

District Aadhaar in-charge Apurva Wankhede said she was aware of such cases and measures to deal with them were being put in place.

 

 

“Two such incidents had occurred last month, wherein labourers were asked come back to complete enrolment procedure at a centre. We immediately looked into the matter and asked the officials to prepare separate forms for such people,” she said.

 

 

‘Where is Aadhaar?’

 

Quarry worker Bastu Rege said there were about one lakh such labourers and members of nomadic tribes, entitled to register under Aadhaar Yojana, following which they would become beneficiaries of several government schemes. But he alleged that not a single enrolment machine had reached their settlements.

 

 

Rege said he would now be taking up the matter with the higher authorities regarding the apathy exhibited towards them by the administration.

 

 

Expertspeak

 

A fingerprint expert from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said hardened palms and fingers because of excessive manual work lead to unclear prints.

 

 

“Tracing such fingerprints is an arduous task. The committee for Aadhaar must quickly find a solution to the problem rather than making the poor run from pillar to post,” he said.

 

 

 

Ishrat Jahan fake encounter: CBI arrests first IPS officer #Justice #Gujarat


Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad
(21/2/2013)

Shamima Kausar along with other relatives collect the body of her daughter Ishrat Jahan from Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad. CBI arrested IPS officer GL Singhal in connection with the fake encounter case. AFP/Sam Panthaky/Files

The Central Bureau of investigation on Thursday arrested Gujarat IPS officer GL Singhal in connection with the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.

Ishrat, a 19-year-old college science student, and three others were allegedly killed by Ahmedabad Crime Branch in an encounter on June

15, 2004.Police though maintain that Ishrat, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, on a mission to kill chief minister Narendra Modi.

Over 20 policemen, including senior IPS officers, are allegedly involved in the fake encounter.

In September 2009, Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate SP Tamang called the encounter fake. He recommended lodging of cases against 22 police officials.

The Gujarat high court in August 2010 asked the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team headed by former CBI director RK Raghavan to take up the Ishrat case.

Singhal, a promoted IPS officer, was assistant commissioner of police with Crime Branch and was allegedly part of the team which kiled Ishrat and three others.

He is one of the key accused in the case besides DG Vanjara, who is already in jail in connection with Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, and PP Pande, presently additional DGP of Gujarat Police.

The SIT named around 20 policemen including three IPS officials in the complaint lodged with the central agency as per the HC directive.

While handing over the case to the central agency, the HC benched had remarked that the case was “exceptional and had national ramification.”

The court had also held that the Gujarat Police could not be trusted to carry out impartial probe in the case.

Shehla murder case: Next hearing on January 24 #RTI


My Friend Shehla Masood

My Friend Shehla Masood

TNN Jan 12, 2013, 02.05AM IST

INDORE: A BSNL officer deposed before special CBI Court of Anupam Shirvastav on Friday in connection with RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case. SDO, Bhopal Pawan Kumar Tak had provided the call details in 91 pages of several people that are attached with the chargesheet.

The statement and cross examination of witnesses continued for nearly five hours due to which petition of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking permission for re-examine the prime accused in the case, Zaheda Parvez and Saba Farooqui and bail applications of accused could be heard as there was no enough time. Now decision on the CBI petition for re-examine prime accused will be taken on next hearing scheduled for January 24. Statement of other witnesses and bail applications of accused be heard on February 12 and 13.

Advocate HO Soni appeared on behalf of Zaheda Parvez, advocate Pradeep Gupta appeared for Tabish and Danger, advocate Sunil Shrivastav appeared for Saba Farooqui and advocate Mahendra Morya appeared for Irfan. Advocate Hemant Shukla appeared for CBI.

Advocate Sunil Shrivastav said call details of Shehla Masood and Sultan Masood have not been presented before court and till now, the details of real users of given mobile numbers are not clear.

Mahendra Morya said bail application of Irfan could not be heard due to lack of time and now court will hear it on February 12 and 13, when bail applications of other accused will also be listed.

Raising question over CBI, Saba Farooqui while being taken out of the court said DIG and some senior officials of CBI had met Danger in jail on Thursday, however, she refused to have knowledge about the content of discussion. On the other hand, Danger said many people keep on meeting him in jail.