In major a development in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, CBI court has discharged DG Vanzara and NK Amin of all the charges of murder, conspiracy and other criminal sections.
The court order accessed by The Indian Express stated, “Discharge applications of DG Vanzara and NK Amin are hereby allowed and they’re discharged from offences punishable under IPC section 120B read with sections 341, 342, 343, 365, 368, 302 and 201, and sections 25(1)(e) and 27 of Indian Arms Act. Bail bond stands canceled and security bonds, if any deposited by the applicants accused are ordered to be refunded to them.”
Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Pillai Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, were killed near Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004, by the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch, and then led by Vanzara. DCB had then claimed that the four were operatives of the Lashkar-e-Taiba out to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Controversy emerged when claims were made that the 4 suspected terrorists were not really related to the Lashkar-e-Taiba and were killed in a fake encounter. However, in further developments, David Coleman Headley, convicted in the United States for his role in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had confirmed that Ishrat Jahan, killed in an encounter in Gujarat, was indeed a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative.
Revelations made by retired IB Special Director Rajendra Kumar further point towards the conspiracy to malign the security forces who had conducted the operation. Rajendra Kumar had said, “Allurements were offered that post retirement you will be given a big post, but I said that I will not give false evidence. They wanted that I should give a statement which would be an evidence for implicating the then Gujarat chief minister who was emerging as the biggest challenge to the then government, UPA. But I said that I will not give false statements,”
“It was all part of the conspiracy in which a very senior Congress leader, who hails from Gujarat, was the mastermind and was giving instructions to the people with an aim to somehow prove that the affidavit of the MHA is proven wrong. He, along with some of the disgruntled police officers, did all this,” he added.
According to ABP live, this senior leader could have been Ahmed Patel who hails from Gujarat who comes from Gujarat, and his one of the very few Gujarat leaders close to the party leadership.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also denied any role of Amit Shah in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case. In a report filed before a special court in Ahmedabad in 2014, CBI had said that it had no evidence against Mr. Shah.
DG Vanzara and NK Amin put forth that there was no abduction of the deceased and that the encounter was a genuine one and part of their official duty as their main argument.
This case is a striking example of the conspiracies which were hatched to defame senior leaders of the BJP, with this ruling yet another supposedly ‘fake’ encounter against the Modi-Shah era in Gujarat falls flat before a court of law.