SIT grills Modi loyal in riot case

Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court questioned former BJP minister I K Jadeja for more than two hours last week. This is the fourth time that Jadeja has been questioned by the SIT appointed to probe in certain Gujarat riot cases of 2002.

Questioning of Jadeja follows the sustained questioning of DIG Sanjeev Bhatt by the SIT last month. Bhatt is said to have given concrete information about the partisan role of Jadeja in the riots. He is said to be monitoring police action from police control room.

SIT also asked pointed questions to Jadeja about the meeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had called on February 27, 2002 at his residence. State wide riots were sparked off after the burning of Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station on February 27 in which 59 karsewaks had died.

Meanwhile, involvement of Narendra Modi the Gujarat Chief Minister should also be investigated in all encounters including Ishrat Jahan, who was murdered by the notorious Gujarat police giving her a false tag of being a terrorist in 2004. The Gujarat police stated that Ishrat, along with three other people, had been killed in an encounter near Ahmedabad by a police team. A judicial probe into the Ishrat incident found that Ishrat and her friends were killed in police custody.

There have been several police encounter deaths in Gujarat, three of which have been attributed to attempts to kill Narendra Modi in retaliation for the alleged involvement of the state machinery in the riots. In fact many of these alleged encounters actually happen in police custody, and they are fake.

In almost every encounter there is same police fabricated story & many of these encounters always take place in the wee hours of the morning in a deserted area, with no witnesses; a vigorous exchange of fire resulting in the deaths of all the terrorists, while the police receive no injuries; and the diary of the accused is often recovered, and contains incriminating evidence.

In Ishrat’s case, the Gujarat police claimed to have received information on the assassination plot from the Mumbai police. The Mumbai police however denied there was any such information given by it. Mumbai police said she had no criminal background, and their investigation did not find anything that could implicate her.

According to PUCL, the Gujarat police did not follow normal procedures in their investigations. No FIR was lodged with the local area police station where the encounter occurred, no charge sheet, no inquest report, and no witness statement. No bullet marks or damage was observed on the road or surrounding area.

Metropolitan Magistrate S P Tamang’s probe report, submitted in the metropolitan court in Ahmedabad on 7 September 2009, said that the four persons were killed in cold blood in police custody.

Tamang’s report said the Crime Branch police kidnapped Ishrat and the others from Mumbai on 12 June 2004 and brought them to Ahmedabad. The four were killed on the night of June 14 in police custody, but the police claimed that an “encounter” took place the next morning on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Rigor mortis had set in between 11 p.m. and midnight the previous night, indicating that the police had later shot bullets into Ishrat’s body to substantiate the encounter theory.

Tamang said there was no evidence to link the victims with the LeT. There was also nothing to indicate that they had come to Gujarat to kill Modi. The report said explosives, rifles and other weapons allegedly found in the car, and the weapons found on their person were all planted by the police. The Gujarat High Court stayed the Tamang report on 9 Sept 2009 but said that Special Investigation Team appointed by the Court can use the report.

It is possible that before killing the 19-year-old Mumbai college girl Ishrat might have been gangraped by the police personnel. Kausar Bi, the wife of Sohrabuddin, was gangraped before being killed. Culprit Police Personnel did their job of crime, now it is the responsibility of CBI or judicial authorities to investigate the incident thoroughly and put the culprits behind bars and place the facts before the public. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 April 2011 on page no. 10

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