CBI to quiz ex-officer of IB for 2003 encounter

Victim's family says he was falsely implicated

CBI to quiz ex-officer of IB for 2003 encounter

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to question a former special director of the Intelligence Bureau in the 10-year-old Sadiq Jamal encounter case. Jamal’s family had claimed that he was falsely implicated as a terrorist and killed in cold blood.

Agency officials said they would call 1968-batch officer Sudhir Kumar, who later became member of Central Vigilance Commission, from where he retired, for questioning in the case to understand the sequence of events that led to the encounter.

Kumar was handling the Western Zone in Intelligence Bureau headquarters when Jamal was killed in an encounter by Gujarat Police in Ahmedabad on January 13, 2003.

Investigators are looking into the role of Kumar in the generation of an input about Jamal which said he was a terrorist out to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The CBI had also raised similar suspicion about the intelligence alert issued against Ishrat Jahan and three others who were killed in 2004 by Gujarat Police.

The questioning will escalate the cold war between the CBI and Intelligence Bureau, as the former is already investigating the role of IP special director Rajinder Kumar in connection with the Ishrat Jahan case.

In the Jamal case, the CBI has questioned a Maharashtra-cadre officer of the rank of joint secretary.  The agency started investigating the case after Jamal's brother Shabir sought a probe into the alleged role played by then IB joint director Rajendra Kumar, former Gujarat Minister of State (MoS) for Home Amit Shah and the Chief Minister in the encounter.

Gujarat Police had claimed that Jamal was a terrorist who had entered the city to kill Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia.  The CBI has filed a charge sheet in connection with the case, and is now planning to file a supplementary charge sheet after collecting evidence with regard to the larger conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the agency may on Monday get possession of crucial telephone transcripts in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland scam from the Italian authorities.

Investigators believe that this would speed up the case as the transcripts would unravel the secrets behind the bribery scandal in which former Air Force chief S P Tyagi is also an accused.

The CBI had earlier received around 40,000 documents related to money trail after the Defence Ministry became a civil party in the ongoing case in Italy. However, it did not have the telephone transcripts. The agency will now corroborate claims made in the conversations with the details of the actual fund transfers.

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