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Ishrat Jahan case: Order on Vanzara’s discharge plea likely on July 17

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Ahmedabad, July1: A CBI court here reserved for July 17 its order on the discharge applications filed by former police officers D G Vanzara and N K Amin in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case.

    Special judge J K Pandya concluded the hearing today.

    Retired IPS officer D G Vanzara

    The CBI has opposed the discharge pleas of both Vanzara, a former IPS officer, and Amin, a state police service officer who retired as a Superintendent of Police.

    CBI lawyer R C Kodekar said while winding up his arguments that independent witnesses had confirmed Vanzara's presence at the farm house where Ishrat and three others were kept before being killed in a fake encounter.

    Also, evidence about Vanzara's presence at a meeting where the conspiracy to kill them was hatched was stronger than that regarding the presence of P P Pandey, he said.

    Pandey, former in-charge DGP of Gujarat, was discharged from the case for want of evidence in February. Vanzara has sought discharge on the ground of parity with Pandey's case.

    Vanzara's application also claimed that the charge sheet filed by the agency was "concocted", there was "no prosecutable material" against him, and witnesses' statements were "highly suspicious".

    The court had concluded the hearing on Amin's plea earlier.

    Ishrat, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbra near Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed by police in an 'encounter' on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

    Police claimed that the four had links with a terrorist organisation, and had plotted to kill the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

    A Special Investigation Team set up by the high court, however, concluded that the encounter was fake. Following this, the high court transferred the case to the CBI.

    In the first charge sheet filed in 2013, the CBI named seven police officials including IPS officers Pandey, Vanzara and G L Singhal as accused. All were booked for kidnapping, murder and conspiracy, among other charges.

    Vanzara was last year discharged in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter cases.

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