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Ishrat’s fake encounter: SIT member spills the beans

New Delhi: Satish Verma, IPS and a member of the SIT probing Ishrat Jahan’s encounter, in an affidavit filed in the High Court submitted that evidence suggested that Ishrat’s was a fake encounter. The 80-page affidavit enlists several clues. This development is a result of in fighting among the members of the SIT. Verma accuses other members of derailing the probe and of toeing to the government’s version of the encounter. This is how the beans have been spilled. Suggesting that the encounter was a “staged” operation; he demands filing of FIR against the officers involved.

Pointing out to the forensic evidence he says that the bullets do not match. “Bullet of 9mm calibre recovered from the body of Amjad Ali Akbar Ali Rana does not match any police weapon purportedly used during the incident.” It also establishes, “Twisted parts of 9mm calibre bullets recovered from Ishrat Jahan’s body also don’t match with the police weapon used.”

The statements of head constable Moti Desai read together with those of Raju Jirawala, owner of the Arham farm house and his watchman Raman, show that one of the two alleged Pakistani nationals killed in the encounter was kept in the farm house for five days prior to the encounter. The weekly diaries of inspector J.G. Parmar and other officials also appeared to be in conformity with head constable’s disclosures, the affidavit says.

It also draws attention to the much publicised intelligence input received by the police commissioner. “There was no record of any intelligence received…. None of the Nakabandi officers as per the FIR attempted to stop the car of the deceased. Not even a signal to stop them was given.” There was no alert given to the adjoining Ganghinagar district or to police stations in Ahmedabad. Verma wonders, “No message on wireless was given, which is extraordinary.” It may be recalled that doubts were raised by Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate SP Tamang in the past who had concluded that it was “cold blood murder.”

“There is scientific and circumstantial evidence against the version provided in the FIR on the staged shoot out case. There was some evidence, though not conclusive and final but good enough to suspect beyond reasonable doubt that it could be a fake encounter.”

Verma also said in his affidavit that SIT chairman Karnail Singh (Delhi Police) and the third member Mohan Jha were not allowing the probe to be carried out in an unbiased manner. Verma’s affidavit is a sequel to Karnail Singh’s request to the High Court for appointment of an amicus curiae to assist the SIT. The court appointed advocate Yogesh Lakhani as the amicus curiae.

Referring to the statement of head constable Desai Verma reminded that the Pakistani was brought to the scene of encounter “and made to stand blind folded across the road divider.” The affidavit further informs that the Indica car of the alleged terrorists was also there at the time and that the “police had fired on the Indica and the person near the road divider, killing them all.”

Refuting that Desai’s statement was taken under duress, Verma points out that Jha was the person behind the “retraction”. He urges that as many as 22 Gujarat policemen were involved in the encounter. A fresh police complaint should be registered against them. The affidavit draws attention to the fact the log books of many police vehicles purportedly used during the incident don’t match the timing of the incident. Moreover, “the paths of many bullets inside the bodies of the deceased persons are not consistent with the FIR version of the incident.”

With such sensational disclosure one is reminded of Shakespeare’s Macbeth where “Fair is foul and foul is fair.”

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2011 on page no. 21

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