Ishrat Jahan: HC asks CBI to file report by July 4

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Ahmedabad, June 18: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday asked the CBI to complete its investigation into the police encounter deaths of Ishrat Jahan and three others by July 4 and file a final report.

The court also asked the probe agency to file the chargesheet at the earliest so that no more accused get a default bail, while IB special director Rajinder Kumar was quizzed at an unknown location in Gandhinagar for his role in the alleged fake encounter killing in 2005.

The high court told the CBI to focus on the conspiracy involving the custody of the dead, the encounter, people involved in the alleged conspiracy and the fake gunfight which claimed four lives.

The court also accommodated CBI's plea seeking to drop Gujarat cadre IPS officer Satish Verma to be dropped from the probe team from June 23. The latter has been helping the CBI in the probe on the court's directions. Verma's aggressive style of investigation had annoyed the IB and some policemen accused him of bias.

This is for the first time in independent India that a top IB official is being interrogated for his role in the alleged encounter killing of four persons, including a college student, who were termed as Lashkar-e-Taiba militants tasked with killing of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi after the riots in the state in 2002.

The CBI, however, has ruled out Kumar's arrest in the case. This is the second time that Kumar has been grilled by the probe agency. Kumar, an IPS officer of the 1979 batch of Manipur and Tripura cadre, was heading the IB unit in Gujarat between 2001 and 2005. The man is accused of giving false information to facilitate the fake encounter, providing arms and also getting custody of two of the four deceased.

The CBI's interrogating Kumar triggered a debate between the CBI and IB, the latter accusing the former of targetting Kumar. The IB had also written to the CBI about Ishrat and others' links with the Pakistan-based terrorist body.

The CBI, however, maintained its position claiming that it had gathered adequate and strong proof against the officer who was involved in the conspiracy that led to the fake encounter killings.

The matter reached the Prime Minister's Office where directors of the IB, CBI, the home secretary and national security advisor met to settle the issue.

The high court slammed the Modi government last week, accusing it of trying to disrupt the CBI probe in the case. It said even if the deceased were terrorists, nobody had the right to kill them.

OneIndia News

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