Information sought on two men, allegedly Pakistani, killed during Ishrat encounter

The Central Bureau of Investigation has sent a letter rogatory to Pakistan through court, seeking information on two of the men killed along with 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan and Javed Pillai in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat. The Gujarat Police earlier claimed that they were Pakistani nationals.

Having failed to establish the identities of the two persons, the CBI approached the court seeking that a letter rogatory be issued for information on their identities. The Gujarat Police Crime Branch team, which gunned down the duo along with Ishrat and Javed around nine years ago, had identified them as Pakistani nationals Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali.

The CBI has already filed the first charge and recently conducted enquiries in different parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, hoping to get clues to the identities of the two deceased.

According to CBI sources, the additional charge sheets — with a focus on conspiracies behind the Ishrat case and the Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounters in the State— will be finalised by month-end. Also under scrutiny are Intelligence Bureau officials who were instrumental in generating inputs that led to the alleged illegal detention and subsequent killings in the said encounters. “Nearly all the suspects and witnesses have been examined and final drafts of the charge sheets are being prepared. They will soon be filed before the designated courts,” a top CBI official earlier told The Hindu.

The CBI had a few days ago also approached Deputy National Security Advisor and former IB chief Nehchal Sandhu for clarifications on the input that had led to the elimination of Mehtar.

He was killed in a purported encounter with a Crime Branch team led by former DIG D.G. Vanzara on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in 2003. Mr. Sandhu was then IB Joint Director (operations).

The CBI had earlier questioned former IB Special Directors Sudhir Kumar, who retired as Central Vigilance Commissioner, and Rajendra Kumar, in connection with the two encounters.