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Ahmedabad encounter to be challenged in SC
Sheela Bhatt in Ahmedabad |
June 29, 2004 20:27 IST
Prominent social activist and lawyer, Girish Patel, will file a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the June 15 police encounter in Ahmedabad, in which four alleged Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists were killed.
Patel told rediff.com that the PIL will be filed in a day or two and that it will be supported by three non-government organisations, including the Lok Adhikar Manch.
Ishrat Raza Jahan, a college girl from Mumbai, was one of four killed in the encounter.
The petitioners will focus on two questions -- a) were the four persons killed in the encounter dangerous terrorists out to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi as claimed by the Gujarat police? b) was the encounter genuine?
"The society should not tolerate such encounters because today some terrorists have been killed, tomorrow it could be civilians' turn if they are perceived as criminals or a threat to the police. The existence of such infrastructure is dangerous," said Achyut Yagnik, a social thinker and writer.
Patel is being assisted in preparing the case by Mukul Sinha, a human rights activist.
Hashim Kureshi, a lawyer who is holding the brief for more than 55 POTA accused in Gujarat, and who will support the PIL, told rediff.com: "Gujarat police is excellent in writing filmy scripts. And like filmy writers, they make mistakes too. We are probing into the identities of the Pakistani terrorists who have been allegedly killed in the encounter."
Kureshi said he is collecting details of Amjad Ali Rana, who was killed in the encounter.
Kureshi pointed out that like several other encounters, the June 15 encounter did not follow the rule book. "The accused were not shot in lower parts of their bodies," he said.
He also said the police claim of having recovered a diary from the terrorists detailing their plans sounds suspicious. "No sane person would keep a diary of his/her movement and the intentions to kill prominent persons. Before her murder, Ishrat must have been forced to write the diary in the presence of Gujarat police," Kureshi said.
He said like four previous encounters in the city, all the alleged terrorists in the Jun 15 encounter were wearing cheap bathroom slippers. "These are some similarities that will be brought before the court."
Pointing out another "obvious flaw in the police theory", Kureshi asked why would Javed (one of the four killed in the encounter) use a car registered in his brother-in-law's name if he was on a mission to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi as claimed by cops. "It takes just two hours to arrange for a stolen car. Why would he use his relative's car," Kureshi asked.
The lawyer said the Gujarat police's another "ridiculous" claim is that they were following the terrorists in their official vehicle long before the terrorists reached near Ahmedabad, where they were shot down.
"It's impossible to believe that the 'terrorists' could not see and recognise a police car following them," Kureshi said.