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Charge-sheet paints chilling picture of Ishrat Jahan encounter

July 05, 2013 13:29 IST

Charge-sheet paints chilling picture of Ishrat Jahan encounter

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According to the CBI charge-sheet in the encounter case, which leaves out some important questions, five Gujarat cops fired 70 rounds on the four persons they branded as terrorists. Sheela Bhatt presents a summary of the CBI charge-sheet of the "extra-judicial" killings that are haunting the Gujarat government.

The charge-sheet in the encounter deaths of Ishrat Jahan and three other was filed on July 3 in the Ahmedabad high court by the Central bureau of Investigation. As reported on rediff.com, the charge-sheet has avoided a few important issues but it gives a chilling account of the chronology of the crime committed by seven Gujarat policemen and a team of Intelligence Bureau officers.

One will have to wait till the CBI files a supplementary charge-sheet to know if the IB's senior officer Rajendra Kumar is nailed for his alleged role in the encounter. There is extraordinary, behind-the-scenes, pressure being applied to not take on Rajendra Kumar because ultimately, the argument goes, it will be IB the institution that will be rocked.

Possibly the CBI is waiting for him to retire. A senior police officer in Gujarat said that a careful reading of the charge-sheet, the summary of which is given below, suggests that without IB becoming an ‘equal culprit” as much as the Gujarat policemen, the legal case will ultimately get weakened.

The charge-sheet filed by the CBI clearly says, ‘That the investigation conducted so far disclosed that the above said fake encounter was a result of a joint operation of the Gujarat police and SIB, Ahmedabad. In this operation the overt acts committed by the accused Gujarat police officers have been established by the evidence on record. However, further investigation is in progress against the SIB officers, namely Rajinder Kumar, M K Sinha, Rajeev Wankhede and T Mittal and others.’

In short, it is argued that in this sensational case of encounter deaths, the ball is in the CBI's court. IB chief Asif Ibrahim has written to the home ministry against the "witch-hunt" by the CBI, reports a newspaper, but a senior CBI officer told rediff.com, "We have kept Ibrahim informed at all stages. Ibrahim has seen the evidence against IB officer Rajendra Kumar."

Here is a summary of the Ishrat Jahan encounter case as given in the charge-sheet:

‘As per the orders passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat vide its judgment dated 01.12.2011 in criminal miscellaneous application No. 15981 of 2010, in criminal miscellaneous application No. 9832 of 2010 with special criminal application No.1850 of 2009, wherein direction was given to the chairman of the SIT to file a fresh FIR with the CBI in consequence of the unanimous conclusion of the SIT that the purported police encounter, as mentioned in the FIR of Ahmedabad City DCB PS I CR No. 8/2004, was not genuine and accordingly on the basis of the written complaint of R R Verma, chairman of the last SIT formed under orders of the high court of Gujarat, Central Bureau of Investigation, special crime branch, Mumbai registered an FIR vide RC BS1/S/2011/0005 on 16.12.2011, and took up the investigation.

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Image: The dead bodies of Ishrat Jahan, Jishar Johar, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Javed after their encounter deaths in June 2004


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Charge-sheet paints chilling picture of Ishrat Jahan encounter

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The brief facts of the case is that the AhmedabadCity crime branch on 15.06.2004, registered a case vide crime No. DCB PS I C.R. No. 8/2004 U/s 3(2)(a)(c), 13, 14 of the Foreigners Act, U/s 120-B, 121, 121(A), 122, 123, 307, 353, 186 of the Indian Penal Code, U/s 25(1)(a), 27, 29 of the Arms Act, U/s 3(1)(a)(b), 3 (2), 3(3), 20, 21 of the Prevention Of Terrorism Act and U/s 135(1) of the Bombay Police Act, on the basis of the complaint of J G Parmar, the then PI of crime branch, Ahmedabad, against the following persons :

‘Jishan Johar @ Jaanbaz @ Abdul Gani, R/o Nar-nanak Kalerbadi, Distt Gujranwala, Punjab, Pakistan;

‘Amjadali Akbarali Rana @ Salim @ Chandu @ Rajkumar, R/o Haveli Deewan, Bhalwal, Distt. Sargoda, Punjab, Pakistan;

‘Javed, R/o Puna, Maharashtra; and

‘One unknown female terrorist.

‘That the investigating officer Mrs Parixita Gurjar, ACP, mahila police station, crime branch, Ahmedabad on conclusion of the investigation of the case, filed the final report against nine persons before the special judge, POTA cases, Ahmedabad, on 08.06.2006. In the said final report she had concluded that the above mentioned persons were terrorists and the encounter was genuine. The special judge of POTA court did not accept the report of the IO and passed order on July 7, 2006, mentioning that ‘investigating officer is directed to further investigate into the matter by virtue of powers of this court u/s 173 (8) of CrPC read with provisions of Prevention of Terrorism Act and make the persistent and consistent efforts of catching particularly those 3 accused A-6, A-7 & A-8 from the State of J&K and others too and report to this Court in accordance with law.’

‘Thereafter an application on 7.11.06 was filed by DCB PS before the spl judge for POTA cases, Ahmedabad, and it was prayed to accept ‘A-Summary’ with respect to the absconding accused.

‘That various petitions in the hon’ble high court of Gujarat and in the hon’ble Supreme Court of India were filed. The hon’ble Gujarat high court, in CrMA No 9832 of 2010 in special criminal application No. 1850 of 2009 (with CrMA 10621 of 2010) and vide judgment and order dated 24.09.2010, formed an SIT directing it to further investigate the case (DCB PS, Ahmedabad city, I CR No 8/ 2004). The SIT carried out investigation under the chairmanship of different officers and periodically submitted report on progress of the investigation.

‘Finally the hon’ble Gujarat high court, vide judgment dated 01.12.2011, in criminal miscellaneous application No 15981 of 2010, in criminal miscellaneous application No 9832 of 2010 with special criminal application No 1850 of 2009, directed the chairman of SIT to file a fresh FIR with the CBI in consequence of the unanimous conclusion of the SIT that the purported police encounter, as mentioned in the FIR of Ahmedabad city DCB PS I CR No. 8/2004, was not genuine.

‘That it is stated by RR Verma in his complaint dated 15.12.2011 that the purported encounter effected by J G Parmar along with 19 other Gujarat police officials and other unknown persons as mentioned in the FIR of Ahmedabad city DCB PS I CR No. 8/ 2004, is not genuine. It implies that the right of private defence for causing the death of four deceased persons does not legally accrue to the accused Gujarat police officers.

‘Therefore, those officers named to have given effect to the incident as narrated in the FIR of Ahmedabad City DCB PS I CR No. 8/ 2004 and found to be responsible to have caused the death of four deceased persons, and those found to be culpable in further investigation in addition, have committed offences punishable under sections 302, 364, 368, 346, 120-B, 201, 203, 204, 217, 218 of the Indian Penal Code, and under sections 25(1)(e), 27 of the Arms Act.

‘That accordingly CBI, special crime branch, Mumbai, registered the FIR and conducted investigation.

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Image: Ishrat Jahan's mother with her dead body


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Charge-sheet paints chilling picture of Ishrat Jahan encounter

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Investigation revealed that the encounter was the joint operation of IB and Gujarat police.

‘Investigation disclosed that the passive agents namely C1 and C2 engaged by Rajinder Kumar and G L Singhal assisted them in managing the illegal custody of the deceased Jishan Johar. The investigation revealed that in the last week of April 2004, Jishan Johar (deceased) on his arrival at Ahmedabad was taken into illegal custody by a joint team of accused Gujarat police officers and SIB officers of Ahmedabad consisting of G L Singhal, Rajinder Kumar. Thereafter Jishan Johar was confined at house no. 164/165 in Gota Housing, near Vaishno Devi crossing, off SG highway, Ahmedabad and was put under audio-tap by Rajeev Wankhede, M K Sinha and T Mittal, the SIB officers, and the surveillance was maintained by C J Goswami PSI, P G Waghela PSI, Hanubha Narsinh Dodiya HC and Zahir Ahmed PC.      

‘Investigation revealed that on 26.05.2004, a team of DCB, Ahmedabad City comprising of accused N K Amin, Tarun Barot and I K Chauhan with the assistance of M K Sinha and Rajeev Wankhede, ACIOs of SIB, Ahmedabad abducted the deceased Amjadali from Gota crossing on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Investigation revealed that the above team of accused officers after abducting the deceased Amjadali, confined him in illegal custody at Arham farmhouse from 26.05.2004 to 15.06.2004 early morning. This place was arranged by JG Parmar (then PI, crime branch). BA Patel, BA Chavda, RI Patel, Moti Talja Desai, Govindsinh Malubha, Jagdish Alveshwar and Bharatsinh Dolatsinh of crime branch, Ahmedabad city, had kept a watch on Amjadali at Arham farm.

‘DG Vanzara, Rajinder Kumar, NK Amin and GL Singhal had met Amjadali at Arham farm during his confinement. Amjadali had stated that he had come to Ahmedabad with a plan to commit a terrorist act at some crowded location in Ahmedabad.

‘Investigation revealed that on 12.06.2004,  accused N K Amin and Tarun Barot with the assistance of M K Sinha and Rajeev Wankhede, ACIOs of SIB, Ahmedabad, abducted Javed and Ishrat Jahan from Vasad toll booth, district Anand, Gujarat, when they were travelling in a blue Indica car bearing registration no MH 02 JA 4786. The above accused police officers and SIB officers took Javed and Ishrat Jahan to Khodiyar farm, off SG highway, Ahmedabad, and kept them in illegal custody. This place was arranged as per instructions of DG Vanzara by KS Desai, then PSI in crime branch. Tarun Barot along with his subordinate policemen Nizamuddin Burhanmiyan and Avnishkumar Vishwanathsinh Thakur had kept watch there. DG Vanzara, PP Pandey, Rajinder Kumar and Dr NK Amin had met Javed and Ishrat Jahan during their illegal custody on different days and times. On 13.06.2004, Jishan Johar was shifted from Gota Housing confinement to Khodiyar farm house by Tarun Barot.

‘That on 13.06.2004 evening, DG Vanzara, PP Pandey and Rajinder Kumar had discussed in the bungalow No. 15, Duffnala, Shahibaug office chamber of DG Vanzara about the further plan about elimination of the four detainees, ie, Jishan Johar, Amjadali, Javed and Ishrat and lodging an FIR showing their death in an  encounter.

‘That on 14.06.2004, GL Singhal had gone to the office of the SIB as per instructions of DG Vanzara, and had collected weapons in a bag from SIB office Ahmedabad. He had sent this bag through Nizamuddin Burhanmiyan to Tarun A Barot, who was at Khodiyar farm.

‘That on 14.06.2004 afternoon at around 1500 hrs, GL Singhal was called by DG Vanzara to the bungalow No. 15, Duffnala, Shahibaug office. DH Goswami, reader PI, was also present. Vanzara had already drafted a complaint, wherein some contents (names, number of rounds etc) were blank. It was pertaining to the story of encounter which was registered later as Ahmedabad City DCB PS I CR No. 8/04.

‘That thereafter, at around 2300 hrs on 14.06.2004, DG Vanzara had convened a meeting at bungalow No.15, Shahibaug, Ahmedabad, with the accused officers of crime branch, Ahmedabad City. In this meeting D G Vanzara briefed the officers of the plan according to draft complaint which he had shown the previous day.

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Image: The vehicles used in the encounter case


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The investigation further disclosed that in the above meeting it was also decided that the gunman of PP Pandey and D G Vanzara, namely Mohanbhai Nanjibhai Menat and Mohanbhai Lalabhai Kalaswa respectively, will be used to carry out the operation. Accordingly the accused police officers reported to G L Singhal at Indira Bridge Circle at around 01:30 to 02:00 hrs of 15.06.2004.  

‘Investigation also revealed that accused N K Amin along with commando Mohan Nanjibhai Menat (gunman of P P Pandey), J G Parmar, K S Desai, Bhalabhai Rupabhai, driver had proceeded to the scene of crime, ie, Kotarpur water works at about 0400 am on 15.06.2004. He had dropped K S Desai and his driver Bhalabhai Rupabhai about 500 metres behind the scene of crime.

‘At the same time as per his directions, Mohd Shafi and Avnish Thakur, constables, brought Javed, Jishan Johar and Ishrat Jahan from Khodiyar farm house to the scene of crime, ie, Kotarpur water works by the blue colour Indica car bearing the registration No MH 02-JA-4786. Mohd Shafi had driven the car and as per direction of N K Amin parked it across the road divider and shifted Javed to the driver’s seat from the rear seat.  

‘The investigation further revealed that as decided in the above meeting dated 14.06.2004  G L Singhal along with T A Barot, Mohanbhai Lalabhai Kalaswa (gunman of D G. Vanzara), Anaju Jiman Chaudhary (commando), I K Chauhan and Nizamuddin reached the scene of crime at about 0400 am. Simultaneously as per the instructions of G L Singhal to B A Patel waiting at Arham farm, Amjadali was also brought to the scene of crime by the white Qualis vehicle. B A Patel drove this vehicle while Motibhai Taljabhai escorted Amjadali sitting in the rear seat of the vehicle. Amjadali was handed over to N K Amin who made him to stand behind the road divider at the rear side of the parked Indica car, whereafter B A Patel drove away and Motibhai Taljabhai stood with I K Chauhan, Mohan Nanji and Nizamuddin.

‘The investigation revealed that immediately after the arrival of all the four detainees as above N K Amin, Tarun A Barot, J G Parmar, Mohanbhai Lalabhai Kalaswa, Anaju Jhiman Chaudhary opened fire on the detainees in the car and on the road divider from their official weapons, resulting in the death of all four detainees. Tarun Barot and Mohanbhai Lalabhai Kalaswa had snatched away the official weapons from I K Chauhan and Mohan Nanji Menat and further fired from the snatched weapons on the detainees.

‘The investigation revealed that the following accused officers had fired on the four deceased from their service weapons as detailed hereunder:

‘NK Amin fired five rounds from his 9mm pistol;

‘JG Parmar fired four rounds from his revolver;

‘Tarun Barot fired six rounds from his revolver and three rounds from the revolver of IK Chauhan;

‘Mohan Kalaswa fired 32 rounds from his AK-47 and 10 rounds from the AK-47 of commando Mohan Nanji; and

‘Anaju Jiman Chaudhary fired 10 rounds from his sten gun.

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Image: One of the weapons used in the encounter


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The investigation revealed that the above firing had taken place in two successive stages. It is revealed that in the first round of firing, Tarun Barot and Mohan Kalaswa exhausted their ammunitions and stopped firing. Thereafter for the second round of firing, they forcibly took away the weapons of IK Chauhan and Mohan Nanji respectively and Barot fired three rounds from the weapon of IK Chauhan while Mohan Kalasawa fired another 10 rounds from the weapon of Mohan Nanji Menat. Further, commando Mohan Kalasawa was made to fire several  rounds from AK-56 rifle (planted on Amjadali Rana), on the official Gypsy vehicle of Dr NK Amin. This AK-56 rifle was brought to the scene by Tarun Barot. After firing from this weapon, it was placed near the dead body of Amjadali.

‘Investigation revealed that the so-called encounter operation concluded by about 0500 hours on 15.06.2004. At this time, messages were originated from the scene of crime to the DCB PS and other senior officers, informing that in continuation of the so-called intelligence input, an encounter had taken place, wherein four suspected terrorists were gunned down by the officers of DCB PS, AhmedabadCity. Thereafter J G Parmar lodged a written complaint which resulted in the registration of the DCB PS I Ahmedabad City CR No. 08/2004 for the offences U/s 3(2)(a)(c), 13, 14 of Foreigner’s Act, sections 120 B, 121, 121(A), 122, 123, 307, 353, 186 of IPC, sections 25(1)(a), 27, 29 of the Arms Act, sections 3(1)(a)(b), 3(2), 3(3), 20, 21 of the Prevention Of Terrorism Act and u/s 135(1) of the Bombay Police Act.

‘That the investigation conducted so far disclosed that the above said fake encounter was a result of the joint operation of the Gujarat police and SIB, Ahmedabad. In this operation the overt acts committed by the accused Gujarat police officers have been established by the evidence on record. However, further investigation is in progress against the SIB officers namely Rajinder Kumar, M K Sinha, Rajeev Wankhede and T Mittal and others.

‘Therefore in view of the above facts and circumstances, the investigating agency CBI seeks permission of the hon’ble court to continue investigation against the SIB officers named above and others.

‘Thus from the above it is clearly revealed that P P Pandey, D G Vanzara, N K Amin, G L Singhal, J G Parmar, Tarun Barot, Anaju Jhiman Choudhary, Mohan Kalasava, entered into criminal conspiracy and in pursuance thereof, they abducted the deceased Javed, Ishrat Jahan, Amjadali and Jishan Johar, kept them in illegal wrongful confinement and thereafter killed all of them in a fake encounter and thereby committed the offence punishable U/s 302, 364, 368, 346, 120-B, 201, 203, 204, 217, 218 of Indian Penal Code and 25(1)(e), 27 of Arms Act.’


Image: The family of Ishrat Jahan


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