Fighting back tears, Gopinathan Pillai says he is happy that the CBI has filed a charge sheet stating that Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in a “fake encounter.” He had been saying this all along. He had been fighting the case for the last nine years.

His son Pranesh Kumar, alias Javed Sheikh, was one of the three killed along with Ishrat Jahan. He now lives with his elder son, a divorcee, here.

“In this case, only small fishes have been caught. Large sharks are not yet in the net,” he told reporters at Kottakkattusserry in Thamarakulam near here soon after the CBI submitted the charge sheet in an Ahmedabad court on Wednesday evening. “I am hopeful that I will get justice in the end.”

Does he suspect the involvement of Mr. Modi in the case? “At first I thought the police officers organised the “fake encounter” to get some additional stars or promotions. But now it appears that involvement of politicians was there. It was talked about that there was a move by the BJP to remove Modi from chief ministership during 2002-2007 and these fake encounters were conducted to counter these moves.

“I am now 74 years old. I have no fear. Even if somebody shoots me now, I will consider it a compliment, a feather in my cap.” He had received a threatening letter which he had handed over to the police station nearby.

“How can I leave the case now,” he shot back when asked if he would continue to pursue the case, “even though I am 74 years old and have had two bypass surgeries?”

He believed the CBI investigation was moving in the right direction. Pranesh’s wife Sajjida and her three children were dear to his heart, even though his son converted to Islam in 1991.

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