Though standing by the affidavit filed by the Home Ministry in the Gujarat High Court last month, stating that Ishrat Jehan and the others killed in the June 2004 Ahmedabad encounter were “LeT terrorists,” senior officials said the Centre was not in the picture on how the State acted on its intelligence inputs.
“Had the four, including Ishrat Jehan, been arrested by the police, intelligence officials would have questioned them exhaustively. But the Home Ministry is not in the picture on how and under what circumstances the shoot-out took place and the four were killed. Intelligence inputs and surveillance on them had indicated that the conduct of the four was totally not above board,” senior officials told The Hindu.
Attempting to steer clear of the controversy that erupted after the shoot-out and legal action that followed against the police officers, officials said the magisterial probe and its findings also came under the purview of the State government.
The affidavit had admitted that the Centre was aware of the inputs that the Lashkar-e-Taiba was plotting the assassination of some top national and State leaders. “The Union of India and its agencies were and are, regularly sharing such inputs with the concerned State governments,” it said.
It submitted that the police action of June 15, 2004 had been independently inquired into by the Gujarat ADGP (CID and Intelligence), who is neither working under the Crime Branch nor is a subordinate officer to the Crime Branch, Ahmedabad city police. The Ministry submitted that no proposal for a CBI probe into the case “is under the consideration of the Central government nor does it consider the present case fit for investigation by the CBI.”
The affidavit gave details of movements of the four – Zeeshan Johar @ Janbaaz @ Abdul Ghani, resident of Gujranwala, Pakistan; Amjad Ali Akbarali Rana @ Salim @ Chandu @ Babbar @ Rajkumar, resident of Sargoda, Pakistan; Javed Ghulam Sheik @ Pranesh Kumar Pillai and Ishrat Jehan.