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Gopinath Pillai, Petitioner in Ishrat Jahan-Javed Sheikh Case, Dies in Road Accident

The accident occurred when a lorry rammed a car driven by Madhavan Pillai, brother of Gopinath Pillai at Vayalar Junction on NH 66 on Wednesday morning.

Chandrakanth Viswanath | News18

Updated:April 13, 2018, 7:08 PM IST
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Gopinath Pillai, Petitioner in Ishrat Jahan-Javed Sheikh Case, Dies in Road Accident
Gopinath Pillai was one of the petitioners in the Gujarat ‘fake’ encounter case in which Gujarat police killed Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh and two others.
Thiruvananthapuram: MR Gopinath Pillai, the father of Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, who was killed in an encounter by Gujarat police, died on Friday after succumbing to injuries suffered in a road accident.

Gopinath Pillai was one of the petitioners in the Gujarat ‘fake’ encounter case in which Gujarat police killed Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh and two others.

The accident took place at Vayalar Junction on NH 66 on Wednesday at 6.15 am when 77-year-old Pillai, a native of Thamarakkulam near Charamoodu in Alappuzha, was being taken to a private Medical college hospital in Kochi by his relatives for a medical check-up.

According to police, the accident occurred when a lorry rammed a car driven by Madhavan Pillai, brother of Gopinath Pillai.

"The Maruti car in which Pillai was travelling up North when it skidded off the road while a car in front applied a sudden break. Just then a truck speeding behind hit Pillai’s car. He suffered injuries and was shifted to a hospital in Ernakulam," Pattanakkad Sub Inspector B Shajimon told News18.

Madhavan Pillai survived the accident. Gopinath Pillai was undergoing treatment for his ailments at the private hospital in Kochi where he breathed his last.

His son, Pranesh Kumar fell in love with his neighbour Sajida alias Ishrat Jahan when he was in Pune, and they married after his conversion to Islam with the new name of Javed Ghulam Sheikh.

On 15 June 2004, four people - Ishrat Jahan, Javed Ghulam Sheikh Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar - were killed by the police in an encounter.

Gujarat Police claimed the four were Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives on a mission to assassinate Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat.

An encounter case that was registered in Gujarat initially accused officers of the Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch and members of the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) jointly having carried out a staged encounter killing by shooting four people.

Gopinath Pillai had filed a case regarding the incident in order to prove his son’s innocence. He had visited Gujarat several times in connection with the evidence in the case. He had also opposed the discharge application of PP Pandey, who was named an accused in the alleged murder.

"Pandey's discharge will obstruct the uncovering of the conspiracy to murder the present respondent's son and others, and will hinder the trial court from arriving at the true facts," Pillai was quoted by media outlets.

Seven policemen including senior IPS officers – P P Pandey, D G Vanzara and G L Singhal – were accused of for kidnapping, murder and conspiracy.

On February 21, a special CBI court in Ahmedabad discharged retired Gujarat DGP PP Pandey in the case.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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