Ishrat case: Plot thickens,CBI silent on whereabouts of 4 crucial links

Agency is yet to crack the mystery of four people whose names figure in the chargesheet.

Written by Satish Jha | Ahmedabad | Published:July 20, 2013 2:04 am

The CBI,which is probing the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case,is yet to crack the mystery of four people whose names figure in the chargesheet it filed in a court here early this month.

According to CBI,Meraj Idrisi,Javabhai,Asad and Owaish played curious roles in the entire saga but have not been traced so far.

Meraj and Java were reportedly close associates of Javed Sheikh,who was killed along with Ishrat and two others in the June 15,2004 police encounter near Ahmedabad. Asad and Owaish were made out to be informers of the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau.

The CBI is silent on the whereabouts of the four.

Meraj,a resident of Ibrahimpur in Faizabad district of UP,has been shown in various testimonies as having met Javed in Dubai.

Meraj’s wife Salma Banu told the CBI that soon after her marriage in February 2004,she was taken to Mumbai where she stayed at Meraj’s aunt’s place. “In April 2004,one Javed of Pune and a lady named Ishrat Jahan came to my house (Mumbra at Meraj’s aunt’s place). Javed was introduced to me by my husband as his friend who he knew when he was in Dubai,” Salma told CBI. She also talks about one Salimbhai. “Salimbhai was having an injury on his shoulder…he was wearing bandage on his body.”

In June 2004,Meraj reportedly told Salma he had to rush to Dubai. Two days after his departure,police came to their house looking for him and took away some papers. Since then,Meraj never returned. “Whenever he came to India,I used to go to Delhi and meet him at my sister’s house,” Salma told the CBI.

Salma’s statement corroborates Meraj’s sister Sayifa Banu,who says that in April,her brother’s friends Javed,Ishrat and Salim had stayed at Ibrahimpur. She has told the CBI,“Salimbhai was having a black bag with him and a mobile phone which was quite big. He didn’t use the mobile in our presence and used to go to the terrace to talk.”

Javabhai’s name figures in the statement of Asif Iqbal Sheikh,whom Sajida married after her husband Javed’s death in the 2004 encounter. He has said Javed and Javabhai of Al Rehman Enterprises in Mumbai had started the business of supplying manpower to companies at Dubai in January-February 2004. Sheikh has stated that Sajida was getting constant calls from one Ranjit from Kerala to give his passport and money back,which was with Javabhai. Therefore,Sheikh took Sajida and met Javabhai at his shop Al Rehman Enterprises. Sheikh says,“We met Javabhai who promised to pay back the money. When he was asked if he had any role in Javed’s encounter,he just told us to go back as he didn’t want to talk in this regard.”

According to Sheikh,he later learnt Javabhai had gone absconding.

Asad and Owaish find mention in the statement of accused police inspector Bharat A Patel,who described them as “sources of accused IPS officer GL Singhal”,the then ACP in the crime branch.

Patel told the CBI,“The two persons were introduced to Rajinder Kumar,joint director,Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau,Ahmedabad. After that,Rajinder Kumar had taken over C1 and C2 completely,and both had played roles given by the IB in the operation that finally culminated in this case of police encounter.”

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