After evading arrest for months, Additional Director General of Gujarat Police P.P. Pandey, who is wanted in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case surrendered before a special CBI court here on Tuesday.
Mr. Pandey, who had appeared before the same court on a stretcher and then in a wheelchair, turned himself in after the Supreme Court on Monday rejected his anticipatory bail plea. The apex court asserted: “You were an absconder earlier also. Your conduct makes you disentitled to anticipatory bail.” Mr. Pandey was declared a proclaimed absconder by the trial court.
However, he was not arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, but sent to judicial custody. On Wednesday, the court will decide on both the CBI’s plea for a 10-day remand for Mr. Pandey and the police officer’s application that he cannot be arrested without theState government’s permission as he was a serving officer. Mr. Pandey disappeared for the first time in April after the CBI included him in the list of seven police officers accused in the case. He was the Joint Commissioner (Crime) when Ishrat, 19, and three others were killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in 2004, allegedly by a police team that included Mr. Pandey.
The police officers maintained that they had Intelligence Bureau (IB) inputs about Ishrat and others being Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists planning to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The IB claimed that it had just passed on information about the terror links of those killed, but did not partake in the encounter. The CBI has rubbished this claim.