With the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) denying the CBI sanction to prosecute former Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Rajendra Kumar, and three other IB officers in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, sources said the CBI could be staring at a similar response in the 2003 Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounter case.
During former CBI director Ranjit Sinha’s tenure, the agency had sought sanction to prosecute two former IB officers, who were posted in the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) in Maharashtra when Sadiq Jamal was in the custody of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch and handed over to the Gujarat police.
Besides the two IB officers, the CBI also sought sanction from Maharashtra to prosecute two Mumbai Police officers, allegedly found involved in the Jamal encounter case.
“Indications are that the request for sanction to prosecute two IB officers who were posted in the Maharashtra SIB at that time could similarly be denied by the MHA. The denial in the Ishrat Jahan case is likely to have an impact on the requests sent in the Sadiq Jamal case too,” said a CBI source.
According to the Gujarat police, Sadiq was shot in the Naroda area of Ahmedabad on January 13, 2003, by a Crime Branch team from Ahmedabad, following intelligence inputs that he intended to assassinate the then Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, and other senior BJP and VHP leaders.
The Gujarat High Court had in June 2011 transferred the case to the CBI following a petition by Sadiq’s brother, Shabbir Jamal Mehtar.
In its first chargesheet filed against eight policemen from the Ahmedabad Crime Branch on December 21, 2012, the CBI alleged that Sadiq “was detained for a considerable period before being allegedly killed in a stage-managed encounter by the then police officials of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad.”
Sources said that one of the IB officers, against whom the CBI had sought sanction, was Gururaj Savadatti, who allegedly prepared the ‘source report’ about Sadiq being a terrorist.
“Gururaj Savadatti had submitted a source report that Sadiq Jamal, a member of Dawood gang, had arrived from Dubai with an intention to kill right-wing Hindu leaders and had left for Ahmedabad to survey some targets. Upon Savadatti’s input, Sadiq was apprehended for verification. But, there was no substance in the input that Sadiq had intention to cause any harm to VVIPs, as alleged in the initial source report,” an SIB Assistant Director had told the CBI as a witness.
Ahmed Abdul Karim alias Zahid, who brought Sadiq to SIB officials, has also claimed before a magistrate that Savadatti had attempted to give Sadiq’s custody to the Gujarat Police.