Ishrat Jahan case: Fake encounter a possibility, says SIT member

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Ahmedabad: Giving a new twist to the Ishrat Jahan case, Satish Verma, a member of the Special Investigation Team, on January 28 claimed before the Gujarat High Court that the 2004 killings could have taken place in a fake encounter.

Verma, a senior IPS officer, who is part of the three-member probe team set up by the high court last year, also said that a second FIR with regard to the encounter needs to be filed.

In an affidavit filed before a division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari, the IPS officer said, “The illustrative evidence brings out well founded allegation of a fake encounter. This is different from the version contained in the FIR.”

He enumerates various pieces of scientific evidence that go against the version in the FIR filed by the city crime branch after the encounter of Ishrat and three others — Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani — on June 15, 2004.

“The reply of the panel of doctors, who conducted the postmortem … shows that the paths of many bullets inside the bodies of the deceased persons are not consistent with the FIR version of the incident,” he said.

Verma’s affidavit states that bullet of the 9mm caliber weapon recovered from the body of Ali Rana, and twisted parts of 9mm caliber bullets recovered from Ishrat’s body, do not match with any police weapon used during the encounter.

The eight cartridge cases of 9mm caliber recovered from the car of the deceased persons do not match with the two 9mm caliber pistols recovered from the car itself, he says, adding that neither do the cases match with police weapon.

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