The CBI this week questioned former Intelligence Bureau chief Nehchal Sandhu,now serving as Deputy National Security Adviser,over the reasons why gangster Sadiq Jamal was shifted from Mumbai to Gujarat,where police killed him in an alleged encounter.
CBI sources said they summoned Sandhu to their headquarters and questioned him as a witness. Sandhu was joint director (operations) when the transfer of custody and the killing took place in 2003. He was confronted with statements made by other IB officials,including former special directors Sudhir Kumar and Rajinder Kumar,both of whom had reportedly conceded that the operation had been carried out with the knowledge of IB headquarters in New Delhi. Sandhu is believed to have told the CBI that his role was limited to passing on information he had received.
Jamal,who hailed from Gujarat,had arrived from Dubai in 2003 when he was arrested by Mumbai police. The handover to Gujarat police came after IB reportedly sent an intelligence input that he was planning to attack senior BJP leaders including Narendra Modi and L K Advani. The Gujarat police claimed he had set out to kill Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia. The CBI questioned Sandhu about the basis of the IB alerts.
Based on Sandhus responses,CBI officers said,they will question former IB officers including Sudhir Kumar and Rajinder Kumar once again. Rajinder Kumar retired in July as IB special director while Sudhir Kumar,a 1968 batch IPS officer,retired as central vigilance commissioner,having been IB special director at the time of the encounter.