State government promises to do the needful in 10 days

The Gujarat High Court on Monday took the State government to task for its failure to provide necessary infrastructural facilities to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for probing the Sadiq Jamal alleged fake encounter case.

The High Court issued the State government notice for immediate steps to provide the necessary facilities to the CBI probe team following which the Narendra Modi regime filed an affidavit promising to do the needful in 10 days.

CBI seeks 6 more months

The High Court reprimanded the State government on an application filed by the CBI requesting for six more months to complete the investigation claiming that absence of infrastructural facilities due to the non-cooperation by the State government was causing the delay in the probe.

The CBI in its application had stated that it was conducting investigation from the circuit house here and the government rest house as there was no infrastructure facility provided to them by the State government, which had allotted only three vehicles and two rooms in the Ahmedabad circuit house which is causing difficulty in investigation.

Gujarat assurance

On being told by the CBI that in the last six months since the High Court handed over the alleged fake encounter case to it, the government had only wasted time in formalities and promises to provide necessary facilities, the High Court issued the notice to the State government following which the government pleader Prakash Jani assured the court that the CBI would be provided a separate office in the Yojana Bhavan campus in Gandhinagar to conduct its probe in the fake encounter case. The arrangements would be finalised in 10 days, he said.

The Bhavnagar-based youth, Sadiq Jamal Mehtar, allegedly involved in some petty crimes, was killed in an ‘encounter' in Narmda area on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in January 2003, after which the State Police had described him as a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative out to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others. The doubts about the genuineness of the encounter was raised following a statement in Mumbai MCOCA court by a local journalist Ketan Tirodkar that he was an eye-witness to an incident in the Borivili national park when Sadiq was “handed over” to the Gujarat police by the Maharashtra “encounter specialist” Daya Nayak, a few days before the incident.

Godhra review plea

Meanwhile, the High Court completed its hearing and reserved its order on the review petition of the Godhra train carnage accused Salim Jarda to summon a journalist, Ashish Khaitan, who had conducted a sting operation on behalf of Tehelka magazine on the train carnage, as a witness.

Salim was one of the 11 accused awarded death sentence by the special fast-track court as he was found by the court to be part of the “pre-planned conspiracy” and had arranged for petrol to set the coach of the ill-fated S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express afire at the Godhra station. In the sting operation, the owner of the petrol pump was shown telling the journalist that he had given “false evidence” against Salim. The trial court had rejected his demand for summoning the journalist and awarded him the death sentence following which he filed the review petition in the High Court.