The Central Bureau of Investigation was under tremendous pressure to name Intelligence Bureau Special Director Rajendra Kumar as an accused in the first charge sheet filed in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case on Wednesday, top agency sources told The Hindu.
“There was pressure on us to name Kumar as an accused in the first charge sheet. However, there were some loose ends to be tied up and the conspiracy part could only be covered under the supplementary charge sheet. Hence, legally it was not feasible to name Kumar and other former Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) officers in the first charge sheet,” said a senior CBI official.
“Investigations in the case were carried out in a professional manner. We would like to emphasise that at no stage the probe was influenced by any political consideration. Based on sound evidence of a suspected conspiracy between the accused officers of the State police and the central intelligence, we will file the second charge sheet, which would enumerate in great detail the individual roles of accused intelligence officials in the abduction, interrogation and killing of Ishrat and the three others on June 15, 2004,” said the official.
Another CBI official pointed out that despite the fact that the Gujarat High Court had dismissed an appeal of the accused top cop, P. P. Pandey, seeking the quashing of the First Information Report registered against him in the matter, the State police had not suspended him so far. “We have written to the Gujarat Police seeking his immediate arrest. However, no concrete action has yet been taken in this regard. The accused officer has been declared a proclaimed offender in the case,” said the CBI official.
Apart from Pandey, the agency has charge-sheeted D. G. Vanzara, G. L. Singhal, Tarun Barot, N. K. Amin, J. G. Parmar and Anaju Chaudhary in the case. “While Singhal has been released on bail and Pandey is absconding, the other five accused are languishing in judicial custody,” the official added.