The CBI’s charge sheet against Rajinder Kumar and three other Intelligence Bureau Officers reinforces the theory that Ishrat Jahan was indeed killed in a fake encounter (“CBI charges four IB officers in Ishrat Jahan case”, Feb. 7). But the document conspicuously omits to delineate the possible motive behind the killing and leaves the dynamics of the case quite obscure. How can it proudly declare its investigations closed when it has been unable to establish as fundamental an element as the motive behind the crime? All this points to foul play in the probe, potentially instigated by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Gujarat Chief Minister. The exclusion of former State Home Minister Amit Shah in itself appears plainly intended to please Narendra Modi.
The news analysis article, “Murky questions still hang over Ishrat’s killing” (Feb. 7), quotes 26/11 perpetrator David Headley as having testified that Ishrat Jahan was a “female suicide bomber” associated with the Lashkar-e-Toiba. However, the National Investigating Agency is known to have categorically stated, in a letter to the Gujarat High Court in 2011, that Headley made no such statement about Ishrat. There have also been reports that this news was fabricated by Rajinder Kumar. I wonder whether this discrepancy can be clarified now.
If the CBI, the media and the higher authorities truly believe that the Ishrat case involved a fake encounter, that there is evidence that the top political-administrative brass has followed the practice of undertaking such extrajudicial executions, then a top-down introspection and due process of law are required and not mere piecemeal prosecutions of the rank and file involved. At the moment the case is still quite hazy — there has been no clarity on any conspiracy behind the execution or on Ishrat’s alleged links with terrorists. To even broach prosecution when the case, which has been dragging on for years now, is so flimsy is inexplicable. Any perpetrators can be punished only on the basis of incontrovertible culpability, which has not yet been established.