The conclusion by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Ishrat Jahan case of 2004 prompted the Gujarat High Court to order a fresh complaint against the 14 accused police officers who will now be charged for murder under Section 302 that covers the death penalty. The SIT concluded that Mumbai teenager Jahan and three others were killed in a fake encounter.
The development comes as a huge setback for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Meanwhile, the high court has now directed filing of a murder case against the police officers involved in the fake shoot out on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city.
The SIT that submitted its final report in the case said Ishrat and three others were killed prior to the encounter date of 15 June 2004.
The crime branch had claimed that Ishrat, along with Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, was killed in a shootout on 15 June 2004. The crime branch led by already jailed IPS officer DG Vanzara had claimed the four were LeT members and were on a mission to kill CM Modi.
Last year an independent judicial inquiry by a magistrate, Justice SP Tamang, too had concluded that the crime branch was at fault. He had even said that weapons had been planted on the victims.
Modi's problem stems from the link between Vanzara and Amit Shah, both already charged in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. His opponents are now stating that the same team was behind Ishrat's killing as well.