Ishrat encounter had Modi's nod, two Gujarat cops told CBI

Ishrat encounter had Modi's nod, two Gujarat cops told CBI

Two former police officers, who were with Ahmedabad crime branch at the time of the "fake" encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan and three others, have told CBI that IPS officer D G Vanzara (now suspended) had told them that police had political nod for the operation.

The statements are a part of the charge sheet filed by CBI in the special court here on July 3. The charge sheet describes the encounter as fake.

D H Goswami, who retired as Deputy Superintendent of Police in 2011, told CBI that he had heard Rajinder Kumar, senior IB officer, telling Vanzara to speak to the Chief Minister Narendra Modi about it (planned encounter).

"On 13th June, 2004, between 7:30 PM-8 PM, I had gone with G L Singhal in his vehicle to Bungalow No. 15, Duffnala, Shahibaug office...,"says Goswami, who was then `reader' to Singhal.

"....Kumar, P P Pandey (then joint CP, Crime Branch) and Vanzara were present there (at Vanzara's chamber). These three seniors were discussing the details of the FIR of some encounter that they were planning," he further says.

"And I remember Rajinder Kumar telling Vanzara to speak to the Chief Minister about it and Vanzara saying he would talk to the `safed dadhi' and the `kali dadhi', the well-known monikers in the Crime Branch for the Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the Minister of State (Home) Amit Shah," he told CBI.

"On June 14 at around 3 PM, when I was in my office at Gaekwad Haveli, I was asked by Singhal to accompany him to meet D G Vanzara....When both of us reached there and met Vanzara in his chamber, he had shown a complaint written in his handwriting to Singhal. I had also seen it cursorily. It mentioned the killing of some persons of Lashkar-e-Toiba who had come to Ahmedabad with designs of killing the Chief Minister."

"Which officer or commando fired how many rounds was kept blank in this handwritten draft. Singhal had disagreed on reading this draft complaint and I vaguely remember it had something to do with the motive in the draft and about the girl Ishrat. But Vanzara was adamant and even said that he had approval of the Chief Minister and the MoS (Home)," Goswami's statement reads.

K M Vaghela, who too retired as DySP in 2009, told CBI that Vanzara told him he had got green signal from the `kali dadhi' and `safed dadhi'.

"On June 14, 2004, I had reported to Vanzara at his Bungalow No 15, Duffnala, Shahibaug office. Singhal and his reader Goswami were also there. Singhal and Vanzara had certain operational differences about this operation but Vanzara was not listening to him. Singhal was very disturbed about it and wanted me to speak to Vanzara and plead with him for accepting what Singhal wanted," Vaghela says.

"I do not know what were the operational differences Singhal had with Vanzara. Singhal had felt that my long association with Vanzara might help convince him," he said.

"Therefore, I had gone inside the chamber of Vanzara and told him to agree to what Singhal wanted but Vanzara refused. He said that everything was decided yesterday with P P Pandey and Rajinder Kumar," he told CBI.

"He (Vanzara) said that he had already got the green signal from the `kali dadhi' and the `safed dadhi' about everything, referring to the code names for MoS (Home) Amit Shah and Chief Minister Narendra Modi respectively."

Nineteen years old Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were gunned down by Gujarat police on June 15, 2004 on the outskirts of the city. Police had then claimed that they were terrorists who wanted to assassinate Narendra Modi.

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