Ahmedabad, July 4: Nine years after her death, controversy continues to haunt Narendra Modi's government, Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB). Taking a pot shot at many officials, the CBI on July 3 filed first charge sheet in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
The investigative agency, in its charge sheet, explained how the 19-year-old girl along with her three other friends were killed on June 15, 2004. The charges against Gujarat Police and IB officials were hurled following the testimonies of 20 junior cops.
The junior policemen, according to CBI, had said that Ishrat and
her friends -- Javed Sheikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were
abducted and were confined in different farmhouse in and around
Ahmedabad. The four people were confined illegally in the
farmhouses for over a period of two months.
Zeeshan was taken to Ahmedabad on April 27, 48 days before the encounter. One month later, Javed brought Amjad and handed the latter over to Gujarat Police. Reason behind Javed's move of handing Amjad over to the state police has not been explained yet. [Read: Ishrat Jahan case: A timeline]
Later Ishrat and Javed were picked up by the police at a check post in Vasad near Anand, on June 12 when the duo were on their way to Ahmedabad. Ishrat and Javed began their journey from Nasik in Maharashtra in a blue Indica.
On June 13, Rajendra Kumar, the then Gujarat station chief of the Intelligence Bureau, had interrogated Ishrat in a farmhouse where she was confined illegally. A day later, Kumar along with senior police officers DG Vanzara and PP Pandey had hatched the plan of fake encounter.
One police officer allegedly was asked to collect weapons including a AK-47 from IB office. The weapons were planted at thew shooting site to make it seem like Ishrat and her friends were armed.
A police officer on June 15 had driven Ishrat and others in Javed's Indica to the Kotarpur Waterworks road where they were gunned down by a group of policemen.
All policemen now have been accused of murder and destruction of evidence. Kumar has been accused of planning and authorising the shootout by the CBI. He, however, denied the charges.
CBI charged seven policemen including DG Vanzara who is in jail and top cop PP Pande, who is absconding with murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence, abduction and under sections of the Arms Act charges.
The CBI claimed the fake encounter was a joint operation by Gujarat Police and IB and they als sought more time to gather more evidence against the accused.
The investigating officials, however, could not establish the reason(s) behind the fake encounter case. It was alleged that Ishrat and her friends were planning to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.