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Three cops transferred in connection with Ishrat encounter

April 20, 2011 15:52 IST
The Gujarat government on Wednesday transferred Indian Police Service officers P P Pande, G L Singhal and Assistant Commissioner of Police Tarun Barot following a suggestion by the high court bench hearing the 2004 police encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others.

The three senior police officials are connected with the encounter of Ishrat and three others -- Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. Transfer of these police officers comes a day before the hearing in the case by the Gujarat high court.

Pande, an additional director general of police rank officer who is heading the state Criminal Investigation Department, has been relieved from the additional charge, state Intelligence Bureau, with immediate effect.

ADGP (law and order) S K Sinha has been given the charge as head of the state IB. Singhal, posted as the superintendent of police with the state's Anti- Terrorism Squad, has been transferred to Vadodara city as Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 1) while Barot, who was heading the special operations group in the city, has been transferred as Mehsana district's departmental police officer, a post which was lying vacant.

The transfer order issued today by the state home department is dated April 19. Incidentally, April 19 was declared as a government holiday due to the elections for the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation.

On April 8, the Gujarat HC had observed that despite its earlier direction in January, and requisition of transfer of the trio by the special investigation team probing the case, they were not transferred.

During the Ishrat encounter in 2004, Pande was heading the city crime branch, Singhal was the deputy commissioner of police (crime) and Barot a police inspector with the crime branch.

On June 15, 2004 Jahan was killed along with Sheikh and the two Pakistani nationals Ali and Ghani in an encounter. Jahan was alleged to be a member of Lashker-e-Tayiba's suicide squad who had been inducted by the outfit's top operative Muzamil.

A controversy broke out after Jahan's family claimed that she was just a student and filed an appeal in the court stating so. The Gujarat police had claimed that the terrorists were in the state to target Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

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