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Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter: Former Head of IB’s Gujrat wing charged with murder, criminal conspiracy

February 6, 2014 | By

Gujrat, India (February 06, 2014): It is learnt that a former head of Intelligence Bureau’s Gujarat wing and three of his serving colleagues were today (Feb. 06) charged with murder and conspiracy in the extra-judicial killing of Ishrat Jahan and three others 10 years ago.

Nearly a decade after Ishrat was murdered along with three others, the CBI filed a supplementary charge sheet in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate H S Kutwad naming Intelligence Bureau Special Director Rajinder Kumar, who was the then Joint Director of IB and posted in Gujarat.

Rajinder Kumar is reportedly charged with 120-B (criminal conspiracy) for 302 (murder) and other sections of Indian Penal Code besides various provisions of the Arms Act.

However Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s confidante Amit Shah was not named in the second chargesheet filed by the CBI on February 06.

Ishrat Jehan (19) and others killed in a fake encounter in Gujrat in 2004 [File Photo]

As per media reports Amit Shah was last year quizzed after some of the accused alleged he had been aware of the police’s actions all along.

Some media sections had reported in last December that Shah might escape unscathed because he was not present in Ahmedabad on the day of the encounter and there was no evidence against him.

The chargesheet says former Gujarat wing head of IB Rajendra Kumar is the main accused who generated a false intelligence alert that the four persons were terrorists on a mission to kill Modi. Not only that, he also provided arms to the accused a day before the encounter.

Besides Kumar, three serving IB officials- P Mittal, MK Sinha and Rajiv Wankhede— who helped him carry out his plan have also been charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, wrongful confinement, kidnapping, wrongful concealment. Kumar has additionally been charged under Arms Act.

According to Hindustan Times (HT) [t]his is for the first time a top-ranking officer of the country’s premier intelligence agency has been chargesheeted in extra-judicial killing.

Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old college student, was killed along with Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali and Zeeshan Johar on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004 by a team of the Gujarat Police’s Crime Branch.

The police had claimed the IB had alerted them about the assassination plans of the four persons. But in a row that pitted IB and home ministry with the CBI, the former defended Rajinder Kumar saying he had only passed on the intelligence but didn’t authorise or participate in the killings.

According to HT, the CBI last year said that Rajinder Kumar, a 1979 batch IPS officer, actively participated in the conspiracy to kill Ishrat and others. His juniors in Ahmedabad IB office picked Ishrat and her former employer Javed from a toll plaza and illegally confined them, while Kumar interrogated them.

The CBI did not wait for home ministry’s formal consent of sanction for prosecuting Rajinder Kumar. The ministry had said its sanction was required to prosecute Rajinder Kumar because he was a serving officer when the encounter took place.

In its primary charge sheet, the CBI had described the encounter as joint operation by Gujarat police and central IB.

The CBI while sharing the details of evidence implicating Rajinder Kumar with the ministry officials, had contended that without including Rajinder Kumar as a prime accused, the case would collapse.

The CBI argued reportedly that Rajinder Kumar’s role is crucial in getting custody of the three persons who were killed along with Ishrat and Javed, supplying weapons and generating false IB alert when the four persons were already in the custody of the police.



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