New Delhi: A top police official, who was part of a court-appointed SIT to go into the killing of Ishrat Jahan, on Wednesday maintained that it was a fake encounter and rejected allegations that pressure was brought on them by former Home Minister P Chidamabram in this regard.
IPS officer and SIT member Satish Verma also denied an allegation by R V S Mani, who had filed affidavits in the
Gujarat High Court in the case on behalf of the Union Home Ministry, that he had tortured him by burning him with
"National security cannot become a defence for the pre-medidated murder of a 19-year-old girl and be branded it
as collateral damage," he told India Today TV.
He was replying to a query whether he stood by the probe conducted by the three-member SIT that the encounter was fake.
"It is very unfortunate that naional security was being used as a phrase to condone the extreme illegalities of the
most serious crime in the book. It cannot happen. These raise concerns...," said Verma, who is now Chief Vigilance Officer at Shillong-based NEEPCO.
He also disputed the description of Ishrat as a LeT terrorist and a suicide bomber saying she was away from her
home and family for only about 10 days after she came into contact with a Pakistani terrorist Javed Sheikh.
"You would know how much time you take to train a LeT terrorist and a suicide bomber...this time (that she was away
from home) was not enough," he said.
The 1986-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer also contradicted former Union Home Secretary G K Pillai's claim of knowing the exact details of the case saying he was "no intelligence officer."
He said Mani's affidavit filings were "curious" as they did not look like the Home Ministry's version but that of the
Gujarat police investigation.
"Mr Mani had no direct knowledge of the case...," he said adding that the allegations made by Mani against him were
"old" and have been made by him earlier too. PTI