In a setback to the Gujarat government, a judicial probe has stated that the 2004 killing of Ishrat Jahan, a college student, and three others suspected to be on a mission to 'kill' Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was a case of fake encounter by the police.
Metropolitan Magistrate S P Tamang's probe report, which was submitted in the metropolitan court in Ahmedabad on Monday, said the four persons who were also suspected to be linked with Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba, were killed in cold blood by the police. Magistrate Tamang, in his report, has claimed that the four were not linked to the LeT.
Mumbai-based Ishrat, 19, was killed in an encounter along with three other persons -- Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani -- by Detection of Crime Branch officials near Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
The then head of DCB D G Vanzara, who is a prime accused in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and is currently lodged in jail, had claimed that all the four had links to the LeT and they were on a mission to kill Modi.
In August, the Gujarat High Court had formed a three-member committee, headed by an officer of the rank of additional director general of police, to further investigate the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. This was done following a petition by Ishrat's mother Shamina, who alleged that her daughter was killed in a fake encounter by the Gujarat police.
After the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, this is the second case where an encounter involving the Gujarat police, during the tenure of CM Narendra Modi, is being probed again.