Ahmedabad: CBI today held that 19-year-old college student Ishrat Jahan was killed in a "fake" encounter in cold blood here in 2004 in a joint operation by Gujarat police and the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau, a development that comes as a major embarrassment to the Narendra Modi government.
The chargesheet filed by CBI in a local cour, which also raises questions over the role of Intelligence Bureau, does not say whether the girl from Mumbai and three others killed with her were terrorists saying there was no mandate from the High Court to investigate their status.
Nor does it name any political leaders in the conspiracy.
It, however, made clear CBI found no evidence that they had come to Gujarat to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The CBI chargesheeted seven Gujarat police officers including absconding Additional DGP P P Pandey and suspended DIG D G Vanzara charging them with criminal conspiracy, abduction, wrongful confinement and murder
"The encounter was a joint operation between Gujarat police and Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of the state," CBI said in the charge sheet, adding, "the encounter was fake".
The CBI told the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate H S Khutwad that their investigation has established offence against all the seven police officers charge sheeted in the case.
Investigation is going on against four Intelligence Bureau officers, including its Special Director Rajinder Kumar, and three other officers-- P Mittal, M K Sinha and Rajiv Wankhede, it said.
A supplementary charge sheet would be filed against IB officers once the investigation was over, the court was told.
The chargesheet, which is bound to open a can of worms, is the first instance in Gujarat encounter cases where the IB has been implicated, saying that Intelligence Bureau officials were involved from the time of abduction, to illegal confinement and killling of the four people.
the other Gujarat police officers who have been charge-sheeted are G L Singhal, Tarun Barot, N K Amin, J G Parmar and Anaju Chaudhary.
Dubbed as terrorists with Lashkar-e-Toiba elements, Ishrat, hailing from Mumbra in Thane district adjoining Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in the encounter with the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
The conspiracy, the charge sheet says, was hatched by Additional DGP Pandey, DIG Vanzara and Rajinder Kumar, who was then posted as Joint Director of the SIB in Gujarat.
It says that crime branch officer Amin and Barot had taken Ishrat and Javed Sheikh into their custody on June 12 from a toll booth at Vasad in Anand district with the help of M K Sinha and Rajiv Wankhede of the IB.
The document says that the four killed in the encounter were in prior custody of Gujarat police and, in fact, Ishrat and Javed were interrogated by Rajinder Kumar at a farm house on the city outskirts where they were kept in confinement.
"On June 13, 2003 Vanzara, Pandey, Kumar and Amin had gone to the farm house and interrogated Ishrat and Javed," the charge sheet said.
The other two were also brought to Ahmedabad before the encounter was staged and were kept at separate locations, it said.
All the four were taken to a place near Kotarpur waterworks, the encounter spot, on the outskirts of the city on June 15, 2003 and were killed in cold blood, the charge sheet said.
Police officers Amin, Barot, Anaju and Mohan Kalashwa, the police commando guarding Vanzara, made them stand near the road divider and fired on them, the charge sheet said. Kalashwa has since died and has not been named in the document.
It also said that the weapons including AK-47 rifles found from the encounter spot and claimed to be of those shot in the encounter, were procured by Gujarat police officer Singhal from SIB.
The CBI also said they found no evidence that the four had come to Gujarat to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
"During our investigation so far nothing was found which suggests that three men and Ishrat came to kill the Chief Minister," it said.