In another blow to the Gujarat police, already in the dock for a series of fake encounter killings, a special CBI sessions court on Thursday ordered the CBI Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate to issue an arrest warrant against Additional Director- General of Police (CID Crime) P.P. Pandey in the Ishrat Jahan case.

The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate had turned down a plea by the CBI to issue a warrant against the official. The CBI challenged this in the sessions court.

Pandey, an accused in the case of murder of Ishrat Jahan and four others, was summoned by the CBI twice earlier, but he failed to appear. Three senior police officers — G.L. Singhal, N.K. Amin and Tarun Barot — besides four other policemen, have been arrested in the case.

Ishrat Jahan, a college girl from a Mumbai suburb Mumbra, was killed along with her friend, Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, and Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana, on June 15, 2004. The Gujarat police then claimed that the group had links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba and was out to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

But, it was Metropolitan Magistrate S.P. Tamang, who first termed these killings fake encounter in his report. Later, the girl’s mother moved the court seeking a CBI probe.

The Gujarat High Court constituted a three-member SIT to probe the killings. The team, in its report, said the killings were committed in cold blood when the four were in police custody. The case was then handed over to the CBI.