The report has now prompted the court to order that a fresh FIR be registered against the police officers involved in the shootout. The court will on Wednesday decide which central agency can carry out probe after the second FIR will be filed.The SIT told the court that 19-year-old Ishrat and Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed earlier than June 15, 2004, the official date of the alleged encounter.
A division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari ordered that a separate FIR under section 302 be filed in the police station concerned against the officers involved in the shootout. The report could spell trouble for 21 police officers, including four from the IPS, against whom an FIR is expected to be filed.
The SIT had submitted its final report in the High Court regarding their findings on the encounter on November 18.
The killing of Ishrat and others by Ahmedabad Crime Branch on June 15, 2004, kicked up a political storm. The Crime Branch had then claimed that the four were LeT members on a mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The report of a judicial inquiry by metropolitan magistrate S P Tamang that was released on September 7, 2009, also stated that the shootout was fake and executed by the police officers for their benefit. The investigation in the case was supervised directly by the Gujarat High Court which constituted the SIT last year to investigate the veracity of the police version of the so-called encounter, on petitions filed by Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kausar and Gopinath Pillai, father of another victim of the encounter Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai.
Those accused in the case include then senior police officer P P Pande, suspended DIG D G Vanzara, then ACP G L Singhal and ACP N K Amin. Vanzara and Amin, also accused in the Soharabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and murder of Sheikh’s wife Kausar Bi, are behind bars.