Ishrat Jahan's family claims threat, seeks security

Ishrat Jahan's family claims threat, seeks security

Union Home Ministry has promised to look into the matter

Ishrat Jahan's family claims threat, seeks security

Following a complaint of threat and intimidation to the family of Ishrat Jahan, the teenage girl killed by Gujarat police in an alleged fake encounter, the Union Home Ministry has promised to look into the matter at the earliest.

Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kauser has written to the Union Home Ministry stating that unidentified persons have been threatening and intimidating her family. She has said there is a “grave threat to life, liberty and security” of the family.

 The Home Ministry said, “If the family members seek security, then it would be provided.”
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has instructed the officials to give top priority in case the family requests for security. He said a decision will be taken soon after the complaint reaches the ministry.

Nine years after Ishrat (19), whose family resides in Mumbra in the adjoining Thane district, was gunned down along with three others, the CBI last week charge-sheeted seven Gujarat crime branch officers for murdering the four people in the guise of an encounter.

In a letter to the Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami, Shamima Kauser has expressed fears for her life and attacks on family members. She has also recounted some recent incidents of intimidation.

Last month, Shamima Kauser, while returning from Mumbai airport, was allegedly pursued by two men on motorbike soon after entering Mumbra. Ishrat’s uncle Rauf Lala, who was also in the car, later told the police that he distinctly heard a sound similar to a gun shot.

At another instance in Haryana, where the family had gone to attend a programme, a vehicle followed them for quite a distance, he had said.

The police later soft-pedalled the case and just treated it as a minor case of argument and registered a non-cognisable offence.

Ishrat’s sister Musarrat told local media on Thursday that unknown people “posing as policemen knock at our doors in the wee hours. It is obvious that they do not want us to fight for justice and that is why they are terrorising us”.

Ishrat, 19, a student of Khalsa College, Mumbai, Javed Shaikh aka Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were gunned down by the Gujarat Police. The killings were later shown as an “encounter with terrorists”.

Shamima Kauser took up the fight for justice and moved the court which ordered a CBI probe into the incident.

The investigating agency, in its charge-sheet, stated that the encounter was stage-managed and the operation was carried out by Gujarat Police and the Intelligence Bureau adding a footnote that the role of IB special director Rajinder Kumar and three other officers were still being probed.

A supplementary charge-sheet will be filed later this month.

Law Ministry opinion sought

The Union Home Ministry has sought the opinion of Law Ministry on a CBI request seeking files from it related to contradictory affidavits on the antecedents of Ishrat Jahan that were submitted in the Gujarat High Court, DHNS reports from Delhi.

In the first affidavit filed on August 6, 2009, Ishrat and three others were termed as Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists while in the second affidavit on September 30, 2009, it was claimed that there was no conclusive evidence to suggest Ishrat was a terrorist.

The contradictory affidavits, in a span of two months, were filed by then Under Secretary R V S Mani. The official, at present posted in Urban Development Ministry, has now claimed that the CBI has pressurised him during questioning and has lodged a complaint with his superior officer.

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