Asserting that “she is a poor widow who wants to bring the killers of her daughter to justice”, Shamima Kauser, mother of Ishrat Jahan who was killed in an alleged fake encounter, filed a reply in a special CBI court here on Tuesday, opposing the discharge application moved by accused former Director General of Police P P Pandey.
Ishrat was killed in an alleged fake encounter along with her friend Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai and two Pakistani nationals Zeeshan Johar and Amjadali Rana in 2004.
Kauser said in the reply that “the accused has concealed and misrepresented the case against him as disclosed by the CBI. The chargesheet dated 3.7.2013 discloses material that shows the clear involvement of Accused No. 2 (Pandey) in the criminal conspiracy that culminated in the fake encounter…”
The reply, filed through advocate Salim Saiyed, alleged that “the material in the charge sheet, prima facie, demonstrates that P P Pandey, who was the Joint Commissioner of Police at the time of the extra-judicial killing, was a key actor in the conspiracy to abduct the present respondent’s daughter, keep her in illegal confinement and kill her.”
She added in the reply that her daughter was “falsely projected as…a terrorist” by the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB). Pandey was then the joint commissioner of police, DCB. The reply alleged that “the present respondent’s young daughter (Ishrat) was murdered following a conspiracy between high ranking police officers and others holding powerful and influential positions in the state and wielding substantial authority and clout.”
“In such a situation, the respondent is naturally fearful that she will be denied justice,” the reply claimed.
It further said that even the CBI has opposed the discharge plea on the ground that “there is direct and admissible evidence, which reveal(s) the overt role of Accused No. 2 in this case.” “It is only due to the determination of the present respondent to pursue justice and bring the killers of her daughter to justice, that steps have been taken towards bringing the powerful guilty men to book… It involves her right to complete justice.”
Pandey has sought discharge from the trial on various grounds, including want of sanction for prosecution from the government, and that he is “directly or indirectly” not involved in the case. He also raised the issue of second charge sheet, which is yet to be taken on record by the concerned court. The court is likely to hear the matter again on November 24.
Pandey was chargesheeted by the CBI along with six others, including retired IPS officer D G Vanzara, IPS officer G L Singhal, Superintendent of Police (retired) N K Amin and Deputy Superintendent of Police (retired) Tarun Barot. All the accused are out on bail.