The CBI charge sheet stating that Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in a fake encounter staged by the Gujarat police and the Intelligence Bureau offers hope for justice. The battle is only half won. For justice to be complete, the authorities on whose instructions the killings took place should also be made accountable.
Whether or not a person is a terrorist is for the courts to determine. Getting rid of someone on suspicion closes the chapter and silences the voice of the accused. The practice of ‘encounters’ must end if people’s confidence in the supremacy of law is to be restored.
The charge sheet demoralises the security agencies and downplays the role of LeT or, for that matter, the terror links the victims might have had. It was reported earlier that the four had terror links. Ignoring the fact now seems to be politically motivated.
Terrorists do not wear a badge or uniform which the police can identify. Persons who are with terrorists cannot be distinguished. Ishrat’s presence in the company of three persons suspected to be terrorists caused her death. The attempt to cover up her death is what needs to be investigated, not the encounter.
V. Ananda Rao,