Ahmedabad: As the CBI prepares to file its chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, there is another twist in a case that has already seen several controversies. CNN-IBN and Cobrapost have accessed a letter which explores in greater detail the Lashkar link to one of the men killed along with Ishrat.
Nineteen-year-old Mumbra resident Ishrat Jahan was killed along with three others by top Gujarat policemen on suspicion of being part of an LeT module, out to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. CNN-IBN and Cobrapost have accessed a report prepared by investigating officer in the Ishrat case, ACP Parixita Rathod.
The report submitted in the POTA court in Ahmedabad in 2005 makes a startling claim. The Srinagar police unearthed a well entrenched Lashkar-e-Toiba network from the Kashmir valley where two Pakistani LeT area commanders were killed. Twenty militants were arrested and during their interrogation, it was revealed that one of the Pakistanis killed in Ahmedabad, Amjad, was in contact with the LeT network in Kashmir. He went to Ahmedabad from Srinagar. Even the weapon was supplied from Srinagar.
Amjad was the one who was killed along with Ishrat and two others on June 15, 2004. While the encounter killing has become the subject of an intense political and bureaucratic battle, Gujarat's crack team of encounter specialists, DG Vanzara, NK Amin and others, failed to get hold of the custody of these terrorists from Jammu and Kashmir Police, despite getting an order from a POTA court in Gujarat.
In the affidavit, Rathod says Vanzara himself went all the way up to the Home Minister of Jammu and Kashmir to get the custody of these terrorists, but ultimately couldn't get their custody because of the jailer of Srinagar Jail, Kuldeep Singh.
In her report, Rathod says Dr NK Amin was sent to Srinagar by DG Vanzara to question the terrorists arrested by the Srinagar Police. Three terrorists namely Majid Hussain, Parvez Ahmed and Abdul Aziz were found to be involved in harbouring Pakistani fidayeen and facilitating him on his onward journey from Srinagar to Ahmedabad with full knowledge that he was on a mission to assassinate Narendra Modi.
Many big questions remain to be answered in connection with this case:
- Why did DG Vanzara take up the matter all the way up to the Jammu and Kashmir Home Minister, only to go completely cold later?
- Did the terrorists arrested by the J&K Police really connect the Gujarat policemen to Amjad Ali, killed along with Ishrat?
- Why did the Gujarat policemen or the CBI not pursue what's been stated by Parixita Rathod in the affidavit?
Parixita Rathod herself has been questioned by the CBI a week back. Sources say she was evasive during her questioning and refused to give a clear answer as to why no further attempt was made to get hold of these terrorists. When CNN-IBN contacted the Jammu and Kashmir Police jailer to explain why he didn't hand over the terrorists, he too remained evasive. The question remains as to why the Gujarat policemen went cold if they were convinced of a plot to kill Modi.
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