Ishrat encounter: Amit Shah 'won't be charged'

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 24, 2013 14:55 hrs

New Delhi: Congress leader Rashid Alvi on Tuesday said the law will take its own course in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case, and described the CBI as an independent agency which carries out its responsibilities with honesty.

"The CBI is an independent agency and knows its work. It will definitely file chargesheet against the culprit but we should also wait for the court's verdict. The law will take its own course," said Alvi.

When asked whether the rising popularity of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is having an impact on the CBI, Alvi said: "The political wind keeps on changing its course. They can be slow or sometimes be very swift. But it does not have an impact on the investigative agencies. They carry out their duties with integrity."

"Well I would not say surprised because there have many instances where people, whom we don't think can commit a crime, actually indulges in one. But I am sure the truth will come out in front of the people," he added.

Alvi was reacting to media reports of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) reportedly firming up its decision not to charge former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah in connection with the Ishrat Jahan 'fake' encounter case.

According to television channels, the CBI does have not sufficient proof to indict Shah, a key aide of Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Shah is currently the BJP's general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh.

The CBI had earlier filed a chargesheet on July 3 terming the encounter fake and saying it was a joint operation between Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB).

In August, 2013, Gujarat Additional Director General of Police P P Pandey was arrested by the CBI in the case. Prior to that IPS officer GL Singhal and five other policemen were arrested.

Singhal and others managed to get bail after the CBI failed to file a chargesheet in stipulated 90 days.

The chargesheet filed by CBI in the Ishrat case mentioned that Singhal had submitted pen drives of recorded conversations with then minister of state for home Amit Shah and one about a meeting held in the office of state attorney general in which some ministers were present to allegedly derail encounter investigations.

CBI had later questioned Shah, another former minister Praful Patel, present minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja and advocate general Kamal Trivedi regarding the recorded conversations submitted by Singhal, before they are to file second charge sheets in the case.

The Congress, however, said that there is a larger conspiracy involved in the encounter case, and insisted that this must be probed.

Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter allegedly with Gujarat Police on the city outskirts on June 15, 2004.

Police had then claimed the four were terrorists on a mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. However, according to the CBI's charge sheet filed in July, the encounter, a joint operation by Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau, was stage-managed.

Seven Gujarat policemen, including Pandey, have been named as accused and charged with murder and criminal conspiracy, among others. 

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