Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
Ishrat Jahan encounter case: CBI's report gives chilling account of murders
TNN | Jul 5, 2013
State cops and IB were hand-in-glove
Investigation revealed that the encounter was the joint operation of IB and Gujarat Police. Investigation disclosed that the passive agents, engaged by Rajinder Kumar of subsidiary intelligence bureau (SIB) and G L Singhal of crime branch, assisted them in managing the illegal custody of Jishan Johar. The investigation revealed that in the last week of April 2004, Jishan Johar on his arrival at Ahmedabad was taken into illegal custody by a joint team of accused Gujarat Police officers and SIB officers of Ahmedabad, namely Kumar and Singhal. Thereafter Jishan Johar was confined at house no. 164/165 in Gota Housing, near Vaishno Devi Crossing, off SG Highway, Ahmedabad and was put under audio-tap by Rajeev Wankhede, M K Sinha & T Mittal, the SIB officers, and the surveillance was maintained by Gujarat policemen C J Goswami, P G Waghela, Hanubha Narsinh Dodiya and Zahir Ahmed.
Farmhouse was their safe house
Investigation revealed that on 26.05.2004, a team of DCB, Ahmedabad city comprising of accused N K Amin, Tarun Barot and I K Chauhan with the assistance of M K Sinha and Rajeev Wankhede, ACIOs of SIB, Ahmedabad, abducted the deceased Amjadali from Gota Crossing on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Investigation revealed that the above team of accused officers after abducting the deceased Amjadali, confined him in illegal custody at Arham farmhouse from 26.05.2004 to 15.06.2004 early morning. This place was arranged by J G Parmar (then police inspector, Crime Branch). B A Patel, B A Chavda, R I Patel, Moti Talja Desai, Govindsinh Malubha, Jagdish Alveshwar and Bharatsinh Dolatsinh of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad city, kept a watch on Amjadali. D G Vanzara, Rajinder Kumar, NK Amin and G L Singhal had met Amjadali at Arham during his confinement. Amjadali had stated that he had come to Ahmedbad with a plan to commit a terrorist act at some crowded location in Ahmedabad.
Ishrat is picked up, locked up
Investigation revealed that on 12.06.2004, accused N K Amin and Tarun Barot with the assistance of M K Sinha and Rajeev Wankhede of subsidiary intelligence bureau (SIB), Ahmedabad, abducted Javed and Ishrat Jahan from Vasad toll booth, district Anand, Gujarat when they were travelling in the blue Indica car bearing registration no. MH 02 JA 4786. The above accused police officers and SIB officers took Javed and Ishrat to Khodiyar farm, off Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway, Ahmedabad and kept them in Illegal custody. This place was arranged as per instructions of D G Vanzara by K S Desai, then sub-inspectors in Crime Branch. Barot along with his subordinate policemen Nizamuddin Burhanmiyan and Avnishkumar Vishwanathsinh Thakur had kept watch there. D G Vanzara, P P Pandey, Rajinder Kumar and Dr N K Amin had met Javed and Ishrat during their illegal custody on different days and times. On 13.06.2004, Jishan Johar was shifted from Gota housing confinement to Khodiyar farm by Barot.
It was a meeting of minds
That on 13.06.2004 evening, Vanzara, Pandey and Rajinder Kumar had discussed in the bungalow No. 15, Duffnala, Shahibaug office of Vanzara about the further plan about elimination of the four detainees i.e. Jishan Johar, Amjadali, Javed and Ishrat and lodging a FIR showing their death in an encounter.
Complaint ready before crime was committed
That on 14.06.2004, G L Singhal had gone to the office of the SIB as per instructions of Vanzara, and had collected weapons in a bag from SIB office in Ahmedabad. He had sent this bag through Nizamuddin Burhanmiyan to Barot, who was at Khodiyar farm. That on 14.06.2004 afternoon at around 1500 hrs, Singhal was called by Vanzara to Shahibaug office. D H Goswami, reader police inspector, was also present. Vanzara had already drafted a complaint, wherein some contents (names, number of rounds etc) were blank. It was pertaining to the story of encounter which was registered later as Ahmedabad DCB PS I CR No. 8/04.
Shootout was planned in detail
That thereafter, at around 2300 hrs on 14.06.2004, Vanzara had convened a meeting at bungalow No.15, Shahibaug, Ahmedabad with the accused officers of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad city. In this meeting, Vanzara briefed the officers the plan according to draft complaint which he had shown the previous day.
The investigation further disclosed that in the above meeting it was also decided that the gunman of Pandey and Vanzara namely Mohanbhai Nanjibhai Menat and Mohanbhai Lalabhai Kalaswa respectively will be used to carry out the operation. Accordingly, the accused police officers reported to Singhal at Indira bridge circle at around 01:30 to 02:00 hrs of 15.06.2004.
Scene of the crime readied carefully
Investigation also revealed that accused N K Amin along with commando Mohan Nanjibhai Menat (gunman of P P Pandey), J G Parmar, K S Desai, Bhalabhai Rupabhai, driver had proceeded to the scene of crime, ie Kotarpur waterworks at about 4 am on 15.06.2004. He had dropped K S Desai and his driver Bhalabhai Rupabhai about 500 metres behind the scene of crime. At the same time as per his directions, Mohd. Shafi and Avnish Thakur, constables, brought Javed, Jishan Johar and Ishrat Jahan from Khodiyar farm to Kotarpur by the blue colour Indica Car bearing the registration No. MH 02-JA-4786. Mohd. Shafi had driven the car and as per direction of N K Amin parked it across the road divider and shifted Javed to the driver's seat from the rear seat.
The investigation further revealed that as decided in the above meeting dated 14.06.2004 G L Singhal along with Tarun Barot, Mohanbhai Lalabhai Kalaswa (gunman of D G Vanzara), Anaju Jiman Chaudhary(commando), I K Chauhan and Nizamuddin reached Kotarpur at about 4 am. Simultaneously, as per the instructions of Singhal to B A Patel waiting at Arham farm, Amjadali was also brought to Kotarpur by a white Qualis vehicle. B A Patel drove this vehicle while Motibhai Taljabhai escorted Amjadali sitting in the rear seat of the vehicle. Amjadali was handed over to N K Amin who made him to stand behind the road divider at the rear side of the parked Indica car, where after B A Patel drove away and Motibhai Taljabhai stood with I K Chauhan, Mohan Nanji and Nizamuddin.
Victims were killed in cold blood
The investigation revealed that immediately after the arrival of all the four detainees, N K Amin, Tarun Barot, J G Parmar, Mohanbhai Lalabhai Kalaswa, Anaju Jhiman Chaudhary opened fire on the detainees in the car and on the road divider from their official weapons, resulting in the death of all four detainees. Tarun Barot and Mohanbhai Lalabhai Kalaswa had snatched away the official weapons from I K Chauhan and Mohan Nanji Menat and further fired from snatched weapons on the detainees. The investigation revealed that, following accused officers had fired on the four deceased from their service weapons as detailed hereunder:
N K Amin fired 5 rounds from his 9mm pistol;
J G Parmar fired 4 rounds from his revolver;
Tarun Barot fired 6 rounds from his revolver and 3 rounds from the revolver of I K Chauhan;
Mohan Kalaswa fired 32 rounds from his AK-47 and 10 rounds from the AK47 of Commando Mohan Nanji; and Anaju Jiman Chaudhary fired 10 rounds from his stengun.
Gun was placed on dead body
The investigation revealed that the above firing had taken place in two successive stages. It is revealed that in the first round of firing, Tarun Barot and Mohan Kalaswa exhausted their ammunitions and stopped firing. Thereafter for the second round of firing, they forcibly took away the weapons of I K Chauhan and Mohan Nanji respectively and Barot fired 3 rounds from the weapon of IK Chauhan while Mohan Kalasawa fired another 10 rounds from the weapon of Menat. Further commando Mohan Kalasawa was made to fire several rounds from AK-56 rifle (planted on Amjadali Rana), on the official Gypsy vehicle of Dr N K Amin. This AK-56 rifle was brought to the scene by Barot. After firing from this weapon, it was placed near the dead body of Amjadali.
Paperwork was readied to cover tracks
Investigation revealed that the so-called encounter operation concluded by about 5.00 hours on 15.06.2004. At this time, messages were originated from the scene of crime to the DCB police station and other senior officers, informing that in continuation of the so-called intelligence input, an encounter had taken place, wherein four suspected terrorists were gunned down by the officers of DCB PS, Ahmedabad City. Thereafter J G Parmar lodged written complaint which resulted in registration of the DCB PS I Ahmedbad City CR No. 08/2004 for the offences U/s 3(2)(a)(c), 13, 14 of Foreigner's Act, sections 120 B, 121, 121(A), 122, 123, 307, 353, 186 of IPC, sections 25(1)(a), 27, 29 of the Arms Act, sections 3(1)(a)(b), 3(2), 3(3), 20, 21 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and u/s 135(1) of the Bombay Police Act.
Probe is not over against IB men
That the investigation conducted so far disclosed that the above said fake encounter was a result of joint operation of Gujarat Police and SIB, Amedabad. In this operation the overt acts committed by the accused Gujarat Police officers have been established by the evidence on record. However, further investigation is in progress against the SIB officers namely Rajinder Kumar, M K Sinha, Rajeev Wankhede & T.Mittal and others.
Therefore in view of the above facts and circumstances, the CBI seeks permission of the Hon'ble Court to continue investigation against the SIB officers named above and others.
Thus from the above it is clearly revealed that P P Pandey, D G Vanzara, N K Amin, G L Singhal, J G Parmar, Tarun Barot, Anaju Jhiman Choudhary and Mohan Kalasava, entered into criminal conspiracy and in pursuance thereof, they abducted the deceased Javed, Ishrat Jahan, Amjadali and Jishan Johar. They kept them in illegal wrongful confinement and thereafter killed all of them in a fake encounter and thereby committed the offence punishable U/s 302, 364, 368, 346, 120-B, 201, 203, 204, 217, 218 of Indian Penal Code and 25(1)(e), 27 of Arms Act.
Call data records of DIG D G Vanzara
THE DEVIL IS IN THE CALL DETAILS
Vanzara spoke to Shah before and after killings
Ajay Umat TNN 2013/07/06
Ahmedabad: The call data records of DIG D G Vanzara show that he spoke at least to then Gujarat minister of state for home Amit Shah before claiming to juniors that he had taken the consent of both the chief minister and the home minister for the killings in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter.
The call data record (CDR) of Vanzara’s mobile number 9825068316 was submitted by the CBI along with the chargesheet filed before an Ahmedabad court on Wednesday. The agency presented essential, tantalizing clues, but held back its punches for a later date. The testimony of DSP D H Goswami, who claims to have heard Vanzara telling SP G L Singhal that he had obtained the consent of “CM and HM” (Narendra Modi and Amit Shah), is only one such example.
The CBI backed Goswami’s statement with Vanzara’s CDR. They show he spoke to Shah before the meeting with Singhal at noon on June 14, 2004, hours before the encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Goswami stated he and Singhal had first gone to meet Vanzara at the Shahibaug office of the crime branch at 8.30am on June 12. There, he heard IB officer Rajinder Kumar telling Vanzara to get the permission of Modi and Shah for the encounter.
Vanzara’s CDRs show he received three incoming calls from Shah and made one outgoing call to the him between 5.26pm on June 13 and 6am on June 15. The killings took place between 4am and 5am on June 15. The CBI believes Vanzara immediately reported to Shah that the job had been done. All this while, Vanzara’s CDRs show that he spoke to Kumar 37 times during the week ending June 15.
Significantly, CBI hasn’t submitted CDRs of Shah, Kumar or the CM’s office and residence — Narendra Modi does not have an official mobile phone. However, it has opened a window for further investigations to catch the big fish.
CBI gets help from other agencies
CBI director Ranjit Sinha said on Friday that the central investigative agency was taking assistance from other agencies on the killing of 19-year-old Mumbra resident Ishrat Jahan in Gujarat. Sinha told mediapersons in New Delhi, “We have taken assistance from other agencies, that includes NIA (National Investigation Agency), Intelligence Bureau (IB). IB is cooperating with the CBI.” Ishrat Jahan was shot dead by Gujarat police in an alleged fake encounter nine years ago. IANS
CALLS OF DEATH
Jun 12, 8.30am | Rajinder Kumar tells D G Vanzara to seek permission from the political leadership for the encounter
Jun 13, 5.26pm | Amit Shah calls Vanzara 5.41pm | Vanzara calls Kumar
Jun 14 (noon) | Vanzara tells SP G L Singhal he had obtained permission of “CM and HM”
4.34pm | Shah calls Vanzara
10.57pm | Vanzara calls Amit Shah
Jun 15, 4am to 5am | Ishrat Jahan, 3 others are killed in a fake encounter 6.10am | Shah calls up Vanzara
(Source: CDRs of Vanzara and statement of DySP Goswami)
David Headley mentioned Ishrat’s LeT link, defiant IB says
Bharti Jain, TNN | Jul 6, 2013
NEW DELHI: The inter-agency sparring over the Ishrat Jahan case took a new turn with a defiant Intelligence Bureau making available excerpts from a National Investigation Agency report detailing US jihadi David Headley's account about the teen's terror links.
According to excerpts from Headley's "unabridged" statement to the NIA, shared with The Times of India , the American LeT operative, on being asked about Ishrat, said LeT (Lashkar e Tayyaba) commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi had told him in 2005 that she was part of Muzammil's "botched up" operations.
Lakhvi is currently under arrest in Pakistan for the Mumbai attacks.
"I state that in late 2005, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi introduced Muzammil to me. Having introduced Muzammil, Zaki talked about the accomplishments of Muzammil as a Lashkar commander. Zaki also sarcastically mentioned that Muzammil was a top commander whose every big 'project' had ended in a failure.
"Zaki added that Ishrat Jahan module was also one of Muzammil's 'botched up' operations," says Para 168 of the NIA report shared with the IB. It adds, in Para 169, that Headley stated that "apart from this, he had no other information/knowledge about Ishrat Jahan".
Ishrat was member of LeT: David Headley
The Times of India, Feb 12 2016
In court, UPA flip-flopped on Ishrat's role
Rebecca Samervel & Swati Deshpande
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley asserted that Thane's Ishrat Jahan, 19, gunned down in an encounter in Gujarat in 2004, was a member of the terror outfit. The incident, in which three men were also shot, ballooned into a political controversy with senior cops prosecuted in the “fake encounter“ case.
Headley said he had heard from his handlers that Ishrat was a member of LeT's women's wing. Her name came up as special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam questioned Headley about LeT activities in Gujarat, especially about the outfit's Muzzamil Butt's “botched-up operation“. “I think it was about ashootout with the police at a naka (picket),“ Headley said. Nineteen-yearold college student Ishrat Jahan, shot dead in an encounter with police in Gujarat in 2004, was a Lashkar-e-Taiba member, Let operative David Coleman said in his deposition on Thursday .
“There was a female member of LeT who was killed in a shootout,“ Headley said. Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam Nikam gave him three names: Noorjehan Begum, Ishrat Jahan and Mumtaz. “I think it is the second one,“ Headley said, causing a flutter in the court of special judge G A Sanap here where he deposed for the third day over video from the US.
Headley's deposition is significant as it tallies with a report in Lashkar-aligned Ghazwa Times shortly after the 2004 encounter claiming Ishrat as a “martyr“. The report was later removed.
Headley had given a similar account to a National Investigation Agency (NIA) team that had met him in 2010. During the trial of his co-defendant Tahawwur Rana in the US, Headley had mentioned that Ishrat was an LeT member. His remarks on Thursday reconfirmed this assertion.
Interestingly, the UPA government altered an affidavit it had submitted to the Gujarat high court that named her as a terrorist.
Though trial in the “fake encounter“ case is still on, whether Ishrat and three others shot in the encounter were part of a terror plot, has been politically contentious ever since the UPA government submitted two affadavits -one in 2007, saying the four were terrorists and the second one in 2009, saying there was no conclusive evidence.
The UPA decision almost led to the arrest of IB officials. The CBI request to prosecute them was denied last year. Ishrat, a Khalsa College student of Mumbra in Thane, was killed with Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai from Kerala, and two alleged Pakistanis -Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana -on June 15, 2004, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad for allegedly conspiring to kill then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
BJP's opponents have repeatedly charged Gujarat Police with staging an encounter and questioned the allegations against Ishrat.
Earlier, when Nikam had asked if he knew “of any female suicide bomber in the LeT“, Headley's answer was a quick “no“.“Can you name any suicide bomber in Lashkar?“ Nikam asked again. “No,“ Headley said. As the deposition was being wrapped up for the day, Headley said, “The woman I mentioned is not a Pakistani. She was an Indian national, I was given to understand. Nikam later told the electronic media that Headley had said Ishrat was a “suicide bomber“ and that the deposition assumed importance as it established that she was an LeT operative. However, in his deposition, Headley never called Ishrat a “suicide bomber“.
D G Vanzara, a former DIG of the Anti-Terrorism Squad in Gujarat and a key accused in the encounter case, said Headley vindicated not just his, but the stand of Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB) which had for years said that Ishrat was an “LeT fidayeen.
He said “a genuine encounter was given a fake tag through an act of “political conspiracy to target Gujarat cops and victimize them, keeping them behind bars for eight years. Vanzara, also an accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case, was released on bail in 2015.
‘Shaikh roped in Ishrat as bomber’
With the CBI naming senior IB official Rajinder Kumar as complicit in the fake encounter of Ishrat and three others, the disclosure of Headley's statement to NIA appeared to be retaliation by his colleagues who are upset about Kumar being allegedly a "collateral victim" of [a political] fight.
Interestingly, the NIA did not place this part of Headley's interrogation in the public domain, apparently on the ground that it amounted to hearsay. Intelligence sources, however, wonder how the rest of Headley's revelations were investigated and scrutinized while the Ishrat bit was discounted.
With [one political party] harping on the Headley evidence, Digvijay Singh, who met home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday, complained about NIA, IB and CBI speaking in different voices. He sought to know if Headley had indeed told NIA that Ishrat was part of an LeT module. The [one political party] too joined in, asking the government to come clean on the Mumbra teen's alleged terror background.
The disclosure of Headley's statement came even as Shinde said that he would make inquiries from the NIA, and suggested that the IB-CBI feud may be spinning out of government's control.
NIA, for its part, maintains Headley's disclosures have no evidentiary value and are based on "hearsay". It has been suggested that the agency took this position on being nudged by the political authority. It is believed that Headley consented to being interviewed by NIA on the condition that nothing he says would be used for purposes other than aiding further investigation.
The statement made by Headley to FBI is learnt to be even more damning. The FBI statement, as quoted by IB, refers to Headley's revelation that Muzammil, with the help of Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, had recruited Ishrat as a potential bomber. The LeT module, he is reported to have said, was planning attacks on temples in India.
Interestingly, MHA's own affidavit filed in the Gujarat High Court in 2007 cites Ishrat's links with LeT. It states Javed was in touch with the Lashkar cadres who were planning a major operation in Gujarat. It said Javed, who converted to Islam but secured a passport in his original Hindu name, Pranesh Pillai, had travelled to Dubai, where he worked for Lashkar. Later, he met Ishrat in Mumbai and convinced her to join him.
Though the MHA revised the affidavit in 2009, it only delinked itself from the follow-up action on the IB inputs, but stopped short of disowning the inputs on terror links of the slain module.
The MHA affidavit had pointed out how Ishrat was hailed as a martyr on the LeT website and in its publication Ghazva Times soon after the encounter.
The postings had taken umbrage to her veil being removed. Interestingly, the post on the said website was pulled off in 2007, and an apology tendered for her being labeled an LeT cadre. This came just before Gopinath Pillai, father of Javed Sheikh, filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding a CBI probe into the encounter.
MHA's 2009 affidavit said the apology was only a "tactical ploy" of LeT to disown her
Pressures to exonerate Ishrat
The Times of India, Mar 02 2016
Cop burnt me with ciggies: Ex-Mha babu
The political row over whether UPA tried to suppress Ishrat Jahan's terror links took a new turn with a former home ministry official alleging he was burnt with cigarettes by an IPS offi cer who pressured him to state that intelligence inputs about the Mumbra girl being part of an LeT module were not credible. R V S Mani, then undersecretary in the home ministry , said IPS officer Satish Verma told him to disown the two affidavits where he had, based on inputs from IB, told the court about the Lashkar links of Ishrat and others killed with her in an alleged encounter with Gujarat police in 2004. “On June 21, 2013, he burnt me with cigarettes. CBI said (I should say) the IB input is not believable which I said I will never do because I will not tell any lie,“ Mani told Times Now. A charge which immedi ately led BJP to attack the UPA government.Mani alleged that Verma, who headed the SIT set up by the court to probe the genuineness of the encounter, was not collecting evidence but “engineering evidence“.“He was helped in this by two or three of his cronies,“ he said, in a fresh turn to the case which BJP alleges was sought to be used by Congress to obstruct Narendra Modi's PM bid and implicate BJP chief Amit Shah.
“See, basically , the government wanted the chargesheet to be filed (against IB officers who generated the inputs on Ishrat module),“ Mani said.
He added that he opted for VRS to save himself from further harrassment by the CBI and the SIT, but was counselled by his seniors to stay on.
The allegation comes close on the heels of former IB officer Rajendra Kumar's charge that a CBI officer, acting at the instance of Congress leaders and UPA ministers, had tried to frame him in the Ishrat case in order to get to Modi and Shah. It coincides with the charge of former home secretary G K Pillai that ex-home minister P Chidambaram personally changed the MHA affidavit, deleting the reference to Ishrat's terror affiliation.
A team of police officers from Gujarat are facing prosecution for staging a “fake encounter“ with Ishrat and others who had traveled with her to Ahmedabad, IB maintains, as part of a Lashkar plot to kill Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, and other leaderes of BJP and VHP.
While the genuineness of the encounter continues to be questioned, IB has maintained that it had credible inputs that Ishrat and three others, two of them Pakistanis who were killed along with her, were aligned with Lashkar. BJP as well as intelligence sources have alleged that the Lashkar connection was sought to be obliterated so that Gujarat Police officers and Modi, during whose chief minsitership the alleged encounter took place, did not get sympathy from the public which may not be concerned with due process when it comes to elimination of Lashkar terrorists.
The alleged harassment of Kumar and Mani, as well as the decision to ignore 26 11accused and Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley's statement about Lashkar's links of Ishrat and her companions, are seen as part of the same political plot to make the encounter look like the cold-blooded killing of a young Muslim college student. It gathered momentum in the twilight days of UPA when Modi was emerging as a powerful claimant for PM.
In his interview, Mani said he was hounded and chased by a woman CBI officer who followed him to a temple he would visit every Sunday . “She was about to join the CBI or something like that... one gentleman came up and said so and so had come,“ Mani said, adding that after he refused to meet her after being told thrice to do so, he finally had to slip away from the staff gate.
“So many cases were opened against me. When I was posted in the urban development ministry , every third or fourth day some DSP from CBI would sit in front of me... on Wednesdays... this fellow would come at 2 pm and not allow me to deal with the public,“ he alleged.
Times Now quoted Mani as saying that while he, under the guidance of his officers, had drafted the first affidavit in the Ishrat case that put down “all information available on the files, coherently , in a sequence“, the same was not true for the second affidavit which was drafted without involving his seniors right up to the level of then home secretary G K Pillai. Pillai had earlier told TOI that Chidambaram had dictated the revised affidavit and only then did the joint secretary put up the file to him.
Mani said he was merely given an order to file the affidavit. “It was an order of the government that I executed,“ he said, claiming that he was obligated to do so as per service rules.
Claiming that the first affidavit was based on “precise and absolutely accurate inputs“, he said it was part of the several inputs disseminated to the states by IB that had prevented mishaps. Stating that inputs from ex-IB officer Rajendra Kumar's desk were always very precise, he said the facts recorded on the files left no scope for him to doubt the IB inputs on Ishrat module.
Confirming that IB inputs on Ishrat module was conclusive evidence, Mani recalled that while LeT moutpiece Ghazva Times had called Ishrat a martyr, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai was maintaining two Indian passports, under a Hindu and Muslim name. “A good citizen of India wont have two passports with different names, with different religious identities,“ he pointed out.
The BJP pounced on allegations that UPA bigwigs altered an affidavit to mask Lashkar-e-Taiba links in the Ishrat Jahan case and said Congress netas should be probed for trying to “frame“ PM Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister.
The UPA government's “flip-flop“ on the Ishrat case and the use of CBI in an alleged “fake“ encounter case had been exposed by ex-home secretary G K Pillai and other officials, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Prasad targeted Congress member P Chidambaram, who was the home minister in 2009, and said the motivated CBI probe into the alleged fake encounter, in which Ishrat and three others were killed, exposed how the government machinery was abused. “Did Congress compromise with national security due to its hate for Modi? A quick probe should be carried out,“ Prasad said, adding that the option of a judicial probe was open. Congress hit back at BJP and said it was spreading falsehoods to score political points. Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi accused BJP of spreading a lie on the basis of the account of 2611 accused David Headley.
Ishrat `exonerated' under political pressure: Pillai
The Times of India, Feb 26 2016
Former Union home secretary G K Pillai said Ishrat Jahan was a cover for the LeT module out to target then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi before she and her three aides were killed in an encounter in 2004. He said the decision to revise home ministry's affidavit in the Ishrat encounter case so as to state that there was no conclusive proof of her Lashkar link was taken at the “political level“. While Pillai was home secretary when the original MHA affidavit that described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives was revised in 2009, P Chidambaram was the home minister.Only recently, after American LeT operative David Headley confirmed to a Mumbai court that Ishrat was linked to LeT, former IB officer Rajendra Kumar, who was probed in the case, had alleged that senior Congress politicians had worked on a CBI officer to misrepresent facts of the case.
Pillai told Times Now that Ishrat knew that “something was wrong“. “An unmarried Muslim girl went with a married person, spent nights with him as husband and wife... She was a cover for them,“ he said.
Suggesting that it was not fair to equate the Ishrat operation with a fake encounter, Pillai said: “This was an intel operation involving LeT. If it was an intel operation, you should not talk about fake encounter. We should make that distinction... IB operations are not strictly within the ambit of the law.That's how it is all around the world.“
Incidentally, M K Narayanan, who was national security advisor during the UPA, had recently said that intelligence agencies were aware that Ishrat was an LeT operative and “a key figure in a carefully planned“ operation of the terror out fit. He said the agencies had tracked the operational trail from Pakistan to Dubai, Kochi, Kashmir and Ahmedabad.
Incidentally, IB officers have raised questions in the past on why Ishrat's family in Mumbai did not file a missing person FIR when she did not come home for days, during which her mother later alleged that she was in illegal custody.“Besides, how can the fact that she was hailed as a martyr on the Lashkar website and its mouthpiece Ghazwa Times be overlooked?“ said an IB officer.
“LeT did put her name on the website and later withdrew it, so may be she was an unwitting player.(But) She was definitely part of the group which went around India and finally ended up in Gujarat with plot to take violent action against leaders. So the real issue is whether it was a real encounter or a fake encounter,“ said Pillai.
Stating that intelligence agencies had used a mole to trap the module, Pillai told Times Now: “IB had enticed and trapped them and then targeted them. We used a source who they (LeT) thought was their source. It is always better to know your enemy as he is coming in rather than wait for him to plan an operation on his own without our knowledge. Our source had in fact told that `look if you come in you can target Modi and other high profile people' and LeT decided to come in.“
Disapproving of the way in which the case was politicised and handed over to CBI, Pillai told Times Now: “CBI has indulged in leaks. They should have exercised extreme discretion. If I was the home secretary, I would have called the CBI director and said look this is unacceptable. I personally would have not recommended a CBI probe.“
Vanzara's resignation letter (Sept 2013)
Read DG Vanzara's letter
The Times of India Sep 3, 2013
Following [are extracts from]of Gujarat top cop DG Vanzara's resignation letter. In his 10-page letter to the state government, Vanzara has expressed his lack of confidence in the Gujarat government and blamed it for failing to protect him and other cops accused in the fake encounters.
D.G. Vanzara, IPS
DIG of Police
Sabarmati Central Prison
Addl. Chief Secretary
Government of Gujarat
Sub: Tendering of resignation from my service with renunciation of all the post-retirement benefits
I, undersigned, D.G. Vanzara, DIG of Police (under suspension) an under trial prisoner No. 4826, residing at 1, Sardaryard, Sabarmati Central Prison, Ahmedabad do hereby tender this resignation from my service with renunciation of all the post-retirement benefits on the following grounds:
I am a 1980 batch direct DySP and 1987 batch IPS officer born on the Gujarat cadre.
while I was serving as a Deputy Inspector General of Police, Border Range, Kutch-Bhuj, I was arrested in ATS Police Station I CR No.- 5/05 (Shohrabuddin encounter case) by the CID Crime of Gujarat on 24-4-2007. Since then I am continuously placed under suspension till date.
I along with other officers, have been continuously kept in the jails of Ahmedabad and Taloja since last more than six years.
Meantime, the case of Tulasiram encounter is also merged with that of Shohrabuddin encounter by the order of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. Consequently a single trial is being conducted by the Hon'ble Special Judge of CBI in Greater Mumbai.
To the best of my knowledge, nowhere in any part of the country, such a big number of police officers were/are arrested and continuously being kept in the jails for such a long period of time except in the state of Gujarat. The most notable part of the whole episode is that they are made to suffer in the jails, inspite of the fact that they had been and are loyal soldiers of this government who fought incessant war against, Pakistan inspired terrorism with complete honesty, integrity and sincerity without falling prey to any of the mundane temptations.
With the passage of time, I realized that this government was not only not interested in protecting us but it also has been clandestinely making all efforts to keep me and my officers in the jail so as to save its own skin from CBI on one hand and gain political benefits on the other..
This government suddenly became vibrant and displayed a spur of sincere activities only when Shri Amitbhai Shah, former MOS, Home, was arrested by CBI. It so happened that Shri Ram Jethmalani, the most learned, senior most and highest paid advocate of India was engaged for Shri Amitbhai Shah who appeared on behalf of him at all levels of courts, right from the lowest CBI court, to Special Court, to High Court, to the Apex court of India and got him released on regular bail within record time of 3 months of his imprisonment.
In contrast, when I, along with Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh M.N, was arrested by the CID Crime, forget about providing the legal services, nobody from the government bothered even to provide a lip service to us or to our family members. On the contrary, apprehending the arrest of political leaders of Gujarat by CBI, all efforts, legal and political, were made by this government to ensure that none of us was released on bail so as to prevent the investigation going from the hands of Gujarat CID to Union CBI. The most heartless and shameful act of betrayal on the part of this government was that when Dinesh M.N., and Narendra Amin got released by their own individual efforts, it got their bails cancelled at the earliest opportunity and pushed them back behind the bars of Sabarmati Central Prison. The only fault, if that is to be construed as a fault, which they committed was that they performed their duties diligently and served their country well under the direct instructions from this government.
Inspite of all such acts of betrayal and treachery, I was gradually reconciling myself with this government, when a skylab in the form of Supreme Court order of transfer of Shohrabuddin trial to Mumbai, fell on us from New Delhi, which was beyond wildest of my imaginations. With all regards for Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, I sincerely believe and state that but for the legal and political intrigues, machinations and maneuverings of Shri Amitbhai Shah, the trial of Shohrabuddin encounter case, followed by that of Tulasiram encounter case, would not have gone out of the state of Gujarat.
And the crux of whole matter is that it was just to facilitate his trivial personal interest of fighting Assembly Election of 2012 that Shri Amitbhai Shah got the trial transferred and and betrayed our trust reposed in him whereby he forced us to suffer more and more in Taloja Central Prison on one hand and face the costliest trial in Mumbai Court, on the other, which none of us is in the position to afford. As if this was not sufficint, Shri Amitbhai Shah, through the order of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, also managed the merger of Tulasiram encounter case into that of Shohrabuddin encounter case so as to prevent his own arrest into the second case whereby he almost closed the doors of regular bails to the rest of the police officers. Not only that, by converting two cases into one case, he has also aggravated the seriousness of the combined cases elevating the same into a rare category.
I have been observing right from the year 2002 that Shri Amitbhai Shah as a MOS, Home, had been completely mismanaging a sensitive Department like Police which would have been handled more carefully in the context of Godhra train burning, post-Godhra riots and resultant rise of Jehadi Terrorism in Gujarat. I am sorry to state that instead of providing an innovative and benevolent leadership for keeping the police force of the state intact, efficient and fighting machine, Shri Amitbhai Shah introduced a much despised British policy of divide and rule.
I, therefore, would like to categorically state in the most unequivocal words that the officers and men of Crime Branch, ATS and Border Range, during the period of years between 2002 to 2007, simply acted and performed their duties in compliance of the conscious policy of this government in the context of following circumstances:
A monstrous episode of Godhra train burning and equally horrible post-Godhra riots in Gujarat provided a pretext to Pakistan based terrorist outfits like Let, JeM and D gang under the direct supervision of ISI, to "convert Gujarat into another Kashmir" by exploiting the sentiments of the muslims all over the world. It was in this context that series of acts of terrorism like foiled attack on Rathyatra; bomb blasts at Godhra, Derol, Mehlol and Lunawada; bomb blasts in six AMTS buses of Ahmedabad City; Memco scooter blast; Nehrunagar cycle blasts; firing on Shri Niraj Jain at Vadodara and on Shri Laliwala at Surat; firing on Shri Jaideep Patel at Ahmedabad; firing on Shri Jagdish Tiwari and killing of Shri Haren Pandya; fidayeen attack on Akshardham Temple at Gandhinagar etc., took place in quick succession which seized common people of Gujarat with fear and apprehensions.
Jehadi Terrorism, thus, began to spread like a forest fire in all directions of the state with all its dreaded ramifications. It was in this context that "the pro-active policy of zero tolerance for terrorism" was adopted by the government of Gujarat at the highest level of its hierarchy.
Gujarat CID/Union CBI had arrested me and my officers in different encounter cases holding us to be responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters, if that is true, then the CBI Investigating officers of all the four encounter cases of Shohrabuddin, Tulasiram, Sadique Jamal and Isharat Jahan have to arrest the policy formulators also as we, being field officers, have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government which was inspiring, guiding and monitoring our actions from the very close quarters.
The logic is very simple, i.e, government and police officers are sailing in the same boat and have to swim or sink together. None should try to outsmart the other and try to swim at the cost of other, neither government nor the police officers.
I, therefore, out of the call of my conscience, do hereby tender this resignation from my service with renunciation of all the post retirement benefits which may kindly be granted with effect from date and time of receipt of this letter and oblige.
Thanking you. Yours sincerely,
(D. G. Vanzara)
Dy. Inspector General of Police