Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Cop accused by CBI of firing at Ishrat Jahan is back at work

Nineteen-year-old Mumbai girl Ishrat, her friend Pranesh Pillai (alias Javed Sheikh), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed by Gujarat police officers near Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. Nineteen-year-old Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan was killed by Gujarat police officers near Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
Written by Satish Jha | Ahmedabad | Posted: July 12, 2014 2:16 am | Updated: July 12, 2014 9:20 am

Weeks after Gujarat reinstated IPS officer G L Singhal, one of the key accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, another accused policeman is back at work.

The suspension of constable Anaju Chaudhary, accused by the CBI of firing 10 rounds from a sten gun at Ishrat and three others, was revoked on July 2 by the state government. He has been posted to the State Reserve Police (SRP) camp in Godhra.

Chaudhary is the third accused to be reinstated. Inspector Bharat A Patel, who was arrested but never chargesheeted, was the first to return to work. He is currently posted at Prantij police station in Sabarkantha district.

On May 27, the government revoked the suspension of Singhal. The order reinstating him as commandant of the SRP in Gandhinagar was with retrospective effect from May 16.

Nineteen-year-old Mumbai girl Ishrat, her friend Pranesh Pillai (alias Javed Sheikh), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed by Gujarat police officers near Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The officers claimed they were gunned down in an encounter, that they were Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives on a mission to kill the then chief minister Narendra Modi.

But the CBI said their investigation found nothing to suggest that the four had come to assassinate Modi. Two earlier probes — by a magistrate and a special investigation team constituted on the orders of the Gujarat High Court — had declared the encounter as fake. The magistrate had said the officers killed the four to get promotions and laurels.

In February this year, the CBI filed a supplementary chargesheet in the case — the two chargesheets have been filed against 11 accused.

On May 7, the agency gave a clean chit to Gujarat’s former home minister Amit Shah, citing insufficient evidence.

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