Three cops named in Ishrat case shunted

AHMEDABAD - Following severe strictures passed by the Gujarat High Court, the state government has finally transferred three senior police officers who were involved in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter in which a 19-year-old Mumbai college girl and three others were gunned down on the outskirts of the city.

By Mahesh Trivedi

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Published: Thu 21 Apr 2011, 11:07 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:52 PM

Additional Director General of Police P.P. Pandey, Superintendent of Police G L Singhal and Deputy Superintendent of Police Tarun Barot were with the Ahmedabad Crime Branch in 2004 when the four were shot dead. The police had described the quartet as terrorists out to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The three police officers are among the 21 police personnel who have been named in the report of Judge Tamang in the sensational case.

Pandey was heading the crime branch at the time of the Ishrat encounter case and is said to have got the tip-off about the Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives entering Gujarat to kill Modi. Singhal and Barot, were in the crime branch team which had gunned down Ishrat, her friend Pranesh Pillai, and two Pakistani nationals — Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar — on June 15, 2004. The High Court, during the recent hearing of an interim report submitted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which it had set up for a fresh probe, expressed strong displeasure over the state government’s failure to comply with its earlier order to shunt these officers.

The court suspected that the officers, now holding positions of influence, could try to scuttle the investigations.

Taking a serious view of the role of the state government in investigations into the encounter, the court had even threatened to hand over the probe to some central agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation or the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The government pleader had then assured the court that necessary action would be taken before the next hearing by the month-end..

Only on Sunday, during a “reconstruction” of the “encounter” carried out by the SIT, along with a team from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Delhi, and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Singhal and Barot were made to recapture the entire episode and give an actual demonstration how the “encounter” was carried out.

A third senior police officer who was also involved in the shoot-out, the former Deputy Superintendent, Narendra Amin, is already in jail custody in the Sohrabuddin-Kausar Bi murder case.

Both Ishrat’s mother and Javed’s father had moved the court alleging that their children were killed in a fake gunfight.

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