In a blow to the credibility of the Gujarat Police, the Gujarat High Court has asked the CBI to investigate the fake encounter case of Ishrat Jehan. While passing the order the court observed that Ishrat Jehan case is an exceptional case and has national ramifications. The court further observed that it no longer trusts the integrity of the state police in investigating the case.
Ishrat Jehan and three others were killed in an encounter by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch on 15 June 2004. The Crime Branch had then claimed the four were LeT members and were on a mission to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Jehan’s family’s contention that Jehan was innocent and a victim of state perpetuated crime, was entertained by the Gujarat High Court and a Special Investigation Team was constituted by the court last year to look into the matter.
In its report submitted to the court on Friday, 18 November 2011, SIT had concluded that the encounter was staged. The report further claimed that the deceased were not killed on the day of the said encounter. It went on to name 21 Gujarat Police officers involved in the encounter, including four IPS officers.
On November 21, 2011, the court ordered that an FIR be registered against those named in the FIR under section 302 of the CrPC.
About two dozen policemen face arrest in the case, including four Indian Police Service (IPS) officers. DG Vanzara, who was the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) when the encounter took place, has already been arrested in connection with another case – the Sohrabuddin fake encounter.
After High Court order, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) will hand over the entire report to CBI. The SIT will also file an FIR with CBI in Ishrat Jahan case.
The Gujarat High Court observed that NIA can’t probe the case as it’s not related to a terrorist act.
The FIR will be filed by the SIT and the CBI will take over the investigations within two weeks, the court directed today.