IB officer quizzed in Ishrat case

IB officer quizzed in Ishrat case

IB officer quizzed in Ishrat case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday questioned senior IB officer Rajendra Kumar in connection with the Ishrat Jehan fake encounter case even as the Gujarat High Court directed the agency to wrap up its investigations and submit its final report by July 4.

The CBI has been alleging that Kumar had provided fake intelligence inputs that facilitated the fake encounter of Ishrat Jehan and three others.

The questioning of Kumar was kept a closely guarded secret and instead of the CBIs camp office at Gandhinagar, the 1979 batch IPS officer was quizzed at a BSF guest house on the outskirts of Gandhinagar.

Kumar, was posted as IB's joint director in Gujarat at the time of the encounter. The CBI claimed that they had  strong evidence of Kumar's involvement in the conspiracy of the fake encounter of the Mumbai based girl on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

The agency had questioned Kumar even earlier and on Tuesday too, sources pointed out that Kumar was to be questioned on the kind of information that he had been providing to the Gujarat Police. The CBI sources say that Kumar had also been questioned regarding several phone calls made from his office landline and mobile phones which indicated his involvement in the planning of the encounter.

Earlier, the CBI’s move to question the top IB official had triggered a row, with the IB director even complaining to the PMO saying the decision could set a bad precedent in the intelligence community.

Meanwhile the Gujarat High Court asked the CBI to file its charge sheet in this case by July 4 and asked the agency to maintain its focus on the fake encounter and illegal confinement.

The high court had reprimanded the CBI last week for its delay in filing the charge sheet in this case apart from asking the agency to maintain its focus on the genuineness of the encounter instead on the veracity of the intelligence input cited for the encounter.

Senior IPS officer GS Singhal apart from other three police officials Tarun Barot, JG Parmar and Bharat Patel, who were arrested in this case were granted bail by the CBI court last month as the agency had failed to file charge sheet against them within the mandatory 90 days.

Mumbra-based Ishrat Jahan and three others - Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, and alleged Pakistani nationals Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar - were gunned down by personnel of the Gujarat Police on June 15, 2004, on the outskirts of the city.
The Gujarat Police had claimed that the four had links with dreaded terror outfit of Lashkar-e-Taiba and was in town to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking to the media after the hearing, Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kausar on Tuesday said that she has been consistently maintaining that her daughter was innocent and was murdered by the Gujarat Police.

“Top police officials have landed behind the bars for the murder and others too will follow suit,” she claimed.