February 21, 2021 4:04:25 am
A special CBI court on Saturday dropped proceedings against retired deputy superintendent Tarun Barot, accused in the alleged extrajudicial killing of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar in 2003.
The discharge comes months after the special court discharged two other police officials — RL Mavani and Ajayapalsingh Siyaram Yadav —who were accused of criminal conspiracy, abducting in order to murder and murder and abetment when offence was committed.
Mavani and Yadav were discharged in November 2020.
Sadiq (28), was killed on the night of January 12-13, 2003, at Naroda near Galaxy cinema, after an intelligence input forwarded by the Gujarat Police linked him to Salim Chiplun, an aide of gangsters Anees Ibrahim (Dawood’s brother) and Chhota Shakeel.
The alert said the “Dubai-based” Sadiq had been sent by the Lashkar-e-Toiba to kill then Deputy PM L K Advani, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia.
As per the CBI’s investigation, Sadiq was apprehended in Mumbai by the Mumbai police and was interrogated by subsidiary intelligence bureau (SIB), Mumbai officers in December 2002. Subsequently, on January 2, 2003, according to the CBI, Gujarat police had travelled to Mumbai to take his custody whereafter he was brought to Ahmedabad, kept in illegal confinement and killed.
The CBI while opposing the discharge plea of Barot, who was the police inspector at Ahmedabad city crime branch at the time of offence in 2003, claimed that Barot along with others left for Mumbai in an official vehicle to take Sadiq into custody and Barot had further “tried to hide his visit to Mumbai in his monthly diary and instead shown his visit to Vadodara and Valsad.”CBI’s investigation revealed of Barot’s Mumbai visit based on vehicle logbook and statement of the driver.
CBI had also submitted that there was “circumstantial evidence” available to establish Barot’s role in the offence. Barot too was facing charges of criminal conspiracy and murder.
On December 2012, CBI had filed the first chargesheet against eight Gujarat policemen.
Of these, three now remain to be discharged.
Barot is also an accused in the alleged extrajudicial killing of Ishrat Jahan in 2004, who along with three others were killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
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