CBI wanted to arrest Modi, Amit Shah in Ishrat case: Vanzara's lawyer

CBI wanted to arrest Modi, Amit Shah in Ishrat case: Vanzara's lawyer

A worker sprinkles water with the cutouts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in the backdrop, ahead of BJP's public meeting, in Bhubaneswar, on Friday. PTI

The lawyer of D G Vanzara, former deputy inspector-general in Gujarat Police, told a special CBI court on Monday that the central investigative agency was once seeking to arrest the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.

Vanzara's lawyer V D Gajjar, while arguing his client's discharge plea before the court of Justice J K Pandya, said that though the CBI intended to do so, "fortunately" it did not happen.

These revelations come after Vanzara, who is currently out on bail in the case, had earlier in his submission before the same court claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was secretly interrogated by the investigating officer in the case when he was the chief minister.

It may be noted here that the CBI had given a clean chit to BJP chief Amit shah in 2014, citing insufficient evidence.

In June 2004, Mumbai-based 19-year-old Ishrat Jehan and three others — her friend Javed alias Pranesh, along with two Pakistani nationals Zeeshan Johar and Amzad Ali Rana — were gunned down by a team of Vanzara's men in an encounter in Ahmedabad. It was stated that Ishrat and her friends were terrorists who were in the state with an intent to kill the then chief minister Narendra Modi.

Vanzara's lawyer on Tuesday also stated that the chargesheet filed against his client was "concocted" and that there was no prosecutable evidence against Vanzara. He also said that the testimony of witnesses in the case could not be believed as some of them were accused in the case earlier.

The CBI has opposed the discharge plea of Vanzara, along with N K Amin, a co-accused in the case. Amin, too, has filed a discharge plea in the same court and the court had completed hearing his plea last month.

In his final submission before the court, Amin, a retired SP and now a practising lawyer, had claimed that Satish Verma, the Gujarat cadre IPS official who assisted CBI in the investigations, had "tampered with the evidence" and maintained that he had "never fired from his gun".

The court has posted the next hearing for June 15.