The family members of three persons killed in ‘fake encounters’ in Gujarat on Wednesday demanded an in-depth investigation into the killings to find out on whose orders they were executed. They said that retired Supreme Court Justice HS Bedi’s report has hinted on the role of several IPS officers and BJP leaders as well as the then “chief minister’s office.”
The encounters took place between 2002 and 2006.
The relatives of Samir Khan Pathan, Haji Ismail, killed separately in alleged encounters, and Kasim Jafer, who was allegedly beaten to death by policemen, unanimously sought further probe. They said that Justice Bedi’s final report only implicates those officers who “executed the killings but is silent on roles of those who directed those killings.”
At the office of advocate Anand Yagnik, Sarfaraz Khan Pathan, father of Samir, and his two daughters, who are all residents of Ahmedabad, Khatija, wife of Haji Ismail, her grandson Mehrab, who live in Jam Salaya in Jamnagar, and Mariam Bibi, wife of Kasim Jafer, and her twin daughters from Mumbai had come. They addressed the media and sought detailed investigation, while requesting the Supreme Court to give further direction in the case.
Yagnik said that the issues will be raised in the apex court in the coming hearing. He said that Justice Bedi’s report does say that those policemen who shot at the victims should be tried for murder but it is silent on roles played by their bosses who could be IPS officers and BJP leaders.
“My husband Haji Ismail and son Mehboob were taken away from home by IPS officer Abhay Chudasama and other officers right in front of my eyes. I have told this before Justice Bedi’s commission. My son returned but my husband was killed by the policemen in a fake encounter,” said 63-year-old Khatija.
Ismail was shot at in the alleged encounter at Umargam in Valsad district in 2005. The FIR stated that 20 shots were fired at Ismail. Five rounds were fired by Inspector KG Erda, two by sub-inspector LB Monpara, four by sub-inspector J M Yadav, five by S K Shah and four by S I Vyas. Justice Bedi found this encounter to be fake and recommended that the accused be tried for murder.
Khatija said that her son Mehboob, after several desperate inquiries, was handed over to Jamanagar police but her husband was shot dead. She said that she doesn’t want any compensation from the government but “justice should be done by probing the case further to find out who all were responsible.”
When contacted, Chudasama, who is posted as Vadodara Range, Inspector General, told The Indian Express, “This is baseless allegation. I was the SP back then but I have nothing to do with this case. This is a lie.”
Chudasama was accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case from which he was discharged by a special CBI court. This court recently acquitted all the accused from the encounter case.
Sarfaraz Khan Pathan, father of Samir, sought investigation into the role of then police officers heading Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch such as D G Vanzara, PP Pandey, among others. He also mentioned a sting operation in which Director General of Police Tirth Raj allegedly admitted that the encounter was fake. He demanded that the case should also be probed to “find the political angle”. Pathan sought Rs 1 crore compensation from the government for killing his son Samir in the fake encounter in 2002.
Pathan’s lawyer Yagnik said that “the then chief minister office, minister of state for home and other responsible officers should be probed.” He also said that how the team of policemen who probed “these encounters” and found nothing illegal, and subsequently the policemen part of Special Task Force (STF), which reported to justice Bedi, never found any fault in these cases.
Mumbai resident Mariam Bibi also sought Rs 1 crore compensation to marry off her four daughters and a son. She also said that those policemen involved in killing of her husband Kasim Jafer should be brought to justice. Jafer was on religious pilgrimage in Ahmedabad when he was picked up by Ahmedabad police and a day later he was found dead. Justice Bedi’s report suggested that he was beaten to death.