Ishrat Jahan’s mother opposes discharge plea filed by ex-cops
Ahmedabad, July 18: The mother of Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat Police along with three others, has filed an objection to the discharge applications of two retired police officers accused in the 2004 case.
Shamima Kauser filed a plea in a special CBI court here, opposing the discharge applications of retired police officers D G Vanzara and N K Amin, and submitted that there was "clinching" evidence against the two.
The court of special CBI judge J K Pandya, who had reserved his order for today after hearing arguments of the two accused and the CBI, said he would further hear the matter in the light of objections raised from the victim's side.
In her objection plea, filed through her lawyer P I Parvez, Kauser said the two accused should not be discharged as there was "clinching" evidence against them.
She said the evidence on record showed that both were present at the site where Jahan and the others were shot dead by the police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in 2004.
Kauser, citing call detail records, said the duo was in constant touch with other officers who were named accused in the case.
The court had on June 30 concluded hearing arguments of the two accused policemen and the CBI, which probed the case.
Vanzara has sought discharge on the ground of parity with former in-charge DGP of the state P P Pandey, who was discharged in the case in February this year for want of evidence.
In his plea, Vanzara had also claimed that the charge sheet filed by the central agency was "concocted" and there was "no prosecutable material" against him. The former Gujarat ATS chief said statements of witnesses were "highly suspicious".
The court had concluded the hearing on Amin's plea earlier.
Jahan, a 19-year-old woman from Mumbra near Mumbai, and three others - Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar - were killed by the police in an "encounter" on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
At that time, the police claimed the four had terror links and plotted to kill then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
A Special Investigation Team, set up by the Gujarat High Court, however, concluded that the encounter was "fake".
Following this, the court transferred the case, initially handled by the state police, 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 also named an accused in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a suspected gangster, and his aide Tulsiram Prajapati. He was discharged by a court in Mumbai last year.