The Special Investigation Team (SIT), investigating afresh the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others, has summoned 19 police officers for deposition.
The SIT, headed by Additional Director-General of Police Pramod Kumar, was appointed by the Gujarat High Court on a petition filed by Ishrat’s mother demanding a CBI inquiry into the alleged encounter by the Ahmedabad crime branch police on the outskirts of the city on June 15, 2004.
The team has already visited Mumbra in Mumbai where the Ishrat family resided and Pune where Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, who was among those killed in the encounter, lived. It reportedly recorded the statements of their family members throwing light about their background, the time they were seen last in their hometowns, the details of the car in which the four were travelling when they were gunned down by the police team and other details.
Some of the senior police officers involved in the encounter, including the suspended “encounter specialist” D.Z. Vanzara, are already in jail in connection with the Sohrabuddin alleged fake encounter case. But the SIT was yet to record their statements. The SIT is due to submit its report to the High Court by November 30.
Meanwhile, two accused in the Naroda-Patiya post-Godhra communal riots, who were out on bail, have been sent to judicial custody by the special fast track court judge, Jyotsnaben Yagnik, for failing to appear before the court during the trial hearings.
He ordered the police to take Naresh Chhara and Vijay directly to the Sabarmati central jail when they appeared before him on Friday on court summons. The summons were issued after they repeatedly failed to remain present in court when the hearing was going on in the Naroda-Patiya massacre re-investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.
One of the accused claimed that he was detained by the police in connection with some other case due to, which he could not remain present but he cancelled their bail and sent them to jail.