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Police theory on Ishrat death doubted

Special Investigating Team probing Ishrat Jahan encounter case has got some fresh evidence that questions Gujarat police claims that it was a genuine encounter.

Police had claimed that they had fired in self defence. Some photographs recovered by the SIT from a computer hard disk seized recently from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) which the SIT believes contradicts the police claim.

Of the total photographs retrieved, one photograph shows bullet marks on the back of the deceased, which contradicts the police claim that the four alleged terrorist were killed during an exchange of fire. In another photograph, an AK 47 rifle is seen lying beside their dead bodies without a magazine, which indicates that it was planted after the encounter.

According to an SIT official, “These photographs were not given by the FSL to the SIT. But now the SIT has taken hard disk of the FSL computer and retrieved the photos.” SIT also believes that these photos will establish that the encounter was fake and the alleged terrorists were in police custody when they were killed. Notably, the SIT also believes that the description in the photographs and the crime scene mentioned in the FIR appears to be contradictory. Gujarat High Court on 10 March allowed the SIT to have a certified copy of the Tamang’s report which said that the encounter was fake.

Ishrat was killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on 15 June 2004, along with Javed Sheikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar. The SIT will submit its report before the Gujarat High Court on 5 April.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2011 on page no. 4

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