It was cold-blooded murder, says Ishrat's mother
The mother of Ishrat Jahan, the college student who was allegedly killed in a fake encounter by the Gujarat police in 2004, on Tuesday demanded stringent punishment to all those involved in her daughter's killing.
A day after her daughter was absolved of the charges by an Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate, Shamima Jahan alleged that Ishrat, a student of Mumbai's Khalsa College, was eliminated as part of a "cold blooded conspiracy" by the police.
Right from the Mumbra police, who picked up Ishrat from her home, to their counterparts in Ahmedabad, who "killed her in cold blood", everyone did it for publicity, she alleged.
Shamima told a news conference that the career of her other children got ruined as their family was ostracised.
"I cannot explain the trauma we had to undergo. My other children wanted to pursue their studies but could not," she said.
"We stand vindicated. We had known from the very beginning that Ishrat is innocent and that the police killed her as part of a well-hatched conspiracy. She loved her country like anybody else," Ishrat's sister Mushrat said.
"We want all those responsible for bringing upon us the tragedy to get the most stringent of punishments," Shamima said, adding that the family would not at least have to live in ignominy although a deep sense of loss will be always there.
They said they might explore "legal options" to seek action against the perpetrators, but did not elaborate.
In his report on Monday, metropolitan magistrate S P Tamang had absolved Ishrat of the charge of having links with the Lashkar e Tayiba and held that several senior police officers were involved in the "fake" encounter in which she along with three others were eliminated.
He charged these officers with having killed the four in a fake encounter to secure promotions and appreciation from Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The police had claimed the four were killed in an encounter while plotting to kill Modi.