The state government on Monday reconstituted the Special Task Force (STF) formed by it to probe the encounter killings and appointed 10 more police officers in the team as demanded by Justice (retired) H S Bedi,who was asked by the Supreme Court early this year to monitor the investigation.
With the latest addition,which includes an SP-rank officer,the STFs strength stands at 14. This meets Justice (retired) Bedis demand for officers needed to assist investigating officers. The STF is ready to function now, an STF official said.
The new STF will now be headed by senior IPS officer A K Sharma. D R Patel,who was recently promoted as a DIG,will be the second-in-command. Bhavangar SP Maninder Singh Pawar has also been deputed to work at the STF. The other two SP-rank officers in the STF are Sandeep Singh and R V Asari.
During his last visit to the state on April 18,Justice (retired) H S Bedi had requested the state government for deputy superintendents and police and inspectors,besides another SP-rank officer to constitute a full-fledged team. As per his demand,four DySPs and five inspectors have also been deputed to the STF.
The reconstituted STF will hold its first meeting at its new office in Gandhinagar on June 21 where Justice (retired) Bedi will be present.
Early this year,the SC had ordered the state government to form a monitoring committee to oversee the probe following a petition by lyricist Javed Akhtar and journalist B G Verghese filed in 2007 demanding investigation into the encounter killings in Gujarat between 2002 and 2006.