Ishrat case: SIT submits progress report to HC
The report was submitted in the High Court registry ahead of hearing in the case, scheduled on April 8.
Ahmedabad: The special investigation team (SIT), probing the 2004 police encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others, on Tuesday submitted its progress report in the case in a sealed cover to the Gujarat High Court.
The report was submitted in the High Court registry ahead of hearing in the case, scheduled on April 8, before the division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari.
In January this year, the court had directed the SIT to submit its progress report every two months and update it about the status of investigation in the case. The court had also appointed Y S Lakhani as amicus curie in the case.
The SIT headed by IPS officer Karnal Singh and comprising two other Gujarat cadre officers - Mohan Jha and Satish Verma - was formed by the Gujarat High Court last year to probe the encounter of Mumbai-based Ishrat and three others by crime branch officials near Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
Verma had last month raided the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) located in Meghaninagar area of the city and seized some computer hard disks and documents related to the case.
Following the seizure of the material, some FSL officers have been questioned, as to why these things were not given to the SIT along with other evidences and documents.
The seizure by the agency assumed significance as SIT member Verma, in an affidavit filed in the High Court in January, had questioned the genuineness of the encounter.
Verma had further said that there were illustrative evidences that suggest that the allegation of the encounter being fake were well founded. He had also enumerated various scientific evidence that go against the version of the FIR
filed by the city crime branch.
Ishrat along with three others - Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar - were killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
After the encounter, city crime branch had claimed that the deceased were LeT terrorists who had come to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
They had further claimed that the encounter was carried out after receiving intelligence inputs from the Centre.
Following a petition by Ishrat's mother Shamima Kausar and father of Javed Sheikh, Gopinath Pillai, demanding CBI inquiry, the Gujarat High Court had formed a SIT in September last year to probe the encounter.
In September 2009, a report by judicial magistrate S P Tamang had concluded that the encounter of Ishrat and three others was fake and carried out in cold blood by police officers. Judicial inquiry under CrPC 176 was conducted as it
was a case of unnatural death.
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