August 8, 2009 1:52:54 am
In a significant development,the Gujarat High Court on Friday directed the state government to submit a list of police officers of the rank of Additional Director Generals (ADGs) to explore the possibility of setting up a three-member committee for a fresh investigation into the killing of Ishrat Jahan.
A suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative,Ishrat was killed on the outskirts of the city on June 2004.
The court fixed August 12 for the final order after Public Prosecutor J M Panchal and Advocate General Kamal Trivedi submitted before the court that the state government will furnish a list of ADGs on August 12.
Justice K S Zhaveri issued the direction on a petition by Ishrats mother Shameema Kausar who had submitted that her daughter was not linked to any terrorist organisation,and that it was a cold-blooded murder.
Through her advocate Mukul Sinha,she had asked for a fresh investigation by a team from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). She had said that she did not trust investigations by the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch (DCB).
Investigations under the supervision of the then Deputy Superintendent of Police Parikshitaben Gurjar,however,concluded that it was not a fake encounter.
The four killed,along with Ishrat Jahan,were LeT operatives and two of them were from Pakistan,the investigations revealed.
Ishrats husband Praneshkumar Pillai,who had converted to Islam for marrying Ishrat and had changed his name to Javed,was reported to have taken training in Pakistan.
According to the DCB,they were on a mission to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP leaders to avenge the Gujarat riots.
The case was closed by filing a summary report before the Ahmedabad POTA court.
Ishrat,travelling with Javed and two others in an Indica car with a Maharashtra registration number,was gunned down at Kotarpur near Indira Bridge on the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar highway.
D G Vanzara,Rajkumar Pandian and Narendra Amin were among the officers involved in the encounter.
The three are,at present,lodged in the Sabarmati Central Jail for their involvement in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case and the subsequent murder of his wife,Kausarbi.
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