'Vanzara mastermind of Ishrat encounter'

'Vanzara mastermind of Ishrat encounter'

Vanzara had claimed that the charges against him were politically motivated. (PTI file photo)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has opposed the discharge pleas of former top cop of Gujarat and retired DIG D G Vanzara and N K Amin in the infamous Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, claiming it had proof to establish their  involvement.

In June 2004, Mumbai college girl 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan 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 claimed that Ishrat and her friends were terrorists who were in the state with an intent and plot to kill the then chief minister and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The CBI, while opposing the discharge pleas, stated that it had proof to corroborate the presence of N K Amin at the encounter spot, as well as establish that Vanzara was the mastermind of the entire operation.

Both, Vanzara and Amin, claimed innocence and sought discharge from CBI charge sheet. They moved court after DGP P P Pandey was discharged by the special court in the case in February this year. Vanzara had claimed that the charges against him were politically motivated. He also contended that he, more or less, faced the same charges as Pandey and so should be acquitted.

CBI claims 'proof' 

The CBI on Friday argued that it has proof to nail Vanzara as the main conspirator in the case.

Amin, a retired SP and now a practising lawyer, had in his plea claimed that he was not among those who took part in the shooting and that there was no forensic evidence to ascertain his involvement.

The CBI had in its charge sheet stated that Amin had fired five rounds from his 9 mm pistol and on Friday stated that there were witnesses who had seen Amin at the encounter spot and that they also had forensic evidence that Amin had fired from his gun.

Amin's IPS dream

Interestingly, Amin's name was recently included in the provisional list of police officers to be promoted to IPS cadre, pending clearance in the criminal proceedings against him.

The CBI presented its case after court sought its view on whether pleas by Vanzara and Amin should be accepted and approved.  The court has now set May 5 as next date of hearing.

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