Ahmedabad: In a major a setback to Gujarat government, a magisterial inquiry looking into the death of the teenage girl Ishrat Jehan has concluded that she and three others were killed in a fake encounter.
The police team that carried out the encounter is already behind bars in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
Ishrat Jahan, Javed Gulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali and Jisan Abdul Gani were gunned down by Gujarat Police outside Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004, and now a magisterial inquiry report has found that the encounter was fake.
Metropolitan Magistrate SP Tamang, who submitted the report to the state government on Monday, has busted the body of lies that Ishart and her friends were members of Laskhar-e-Toeba and they that they plotted to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The report goes on to say that Ishrat and her friends were picked up from Mumbai on June 12, 2004, and brought to Ahmedabad.
They were killed on Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad before dawn on June 15, 2004, and the encounter was staged by Gujarat Police for personal gains, better postings and appreciation from Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
All the four were killed by police bullets that were fired from a close range.
"The conclusion of the magistrate is exactly opposite to the allegations made by the police. The magistrate says there is no proof that they were terrorists and that they were kidnapped in Maharashtra and brought to Gujarat, where they were killed," said Mukul Sinha, Advocate for Jansangharsh Manch which had alleged that the encounter was fake.
Incidentally, leading the encounter team was DG Vanzara and Narendra Amin who along with others, are behind bars in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
Meanwhile, a petition filed by Javed's father Gopinath Pillai seeking a CBI probe in the case too will come up for hearing in the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday.
"This report will be binding on the team of police officials. Also, we will place this report in the Gujarat High Court when the matter comes up for hearing," added Sinha.
This is perhaps the first time when a magisterial inquest report has clearly pointed out the encounter was fake.