The CBI charge sheet which says the killing of Ishrat Jahan was a cold-blooded murder, a fake encounter carried out by the Gujarat Police and the Intelligence Bureau, is a damning indictment of the way the agencies function at the behest of their political bosses. Otherwise, there is no reason for the police and the IB officers to conspire to kill a 19-year-old and frame charges to prove that she was a terrorist. Although the CBI has not named any political leader, it is hard to believe that the law-enforcement and intelligence agencies would have carried out such a gruesome act on their own. If Ishrat was a terrorist, she could have been arrested and tried.
The CBI charge sheet in the nine-year-old case is historic. Imagine the trauma and agony Gopinathan Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai, and Shamima Kauser, mother of Ishrat Jahan, would have undergone all these years. Their children were not only killed in cold blood but were also called terrorists.
N. Jan Muhammed,
The victims were killed in 2004 and their families have been waiting for justice since then. Their stand that the encounter was fake stands vindicated. Should not those who were Home Minister and Chief Minister of Gujarat and Union Home Minister in 2004 be made answerable? Action should not be limited to officials.
The tragic manner in which Ishrat’s life ended is moving. The CBI charge sheet has brought disrepute to the Gujarat police but it is not, in itself, enough. As many, including members of the victim’s family, feel, the investigation can conclude only when the conspiracy to kill Ishrat and three others is unravelled and those involved are exposed.
There is something very disquieting about security in Gujarat. In contrast to the much-touted development model of Gujarat, the security model lies in tatters. It is a State where thousands belonging to a community were killed with hardly any protection from the State government and the police, and innocent people killed in fake encounters for supposedly constituting a threat to the Chief Minister’s life.
One will get to know the details of the conspiracy only after the CBI files a second charge sheet. That it took more than nine years for a charge sheet to be filed in such a high-profile case is indeed a sad commentary on our criminal investigation system. While the legal battle will be fought inside the court room and may take decades to conclude, a more visible battle will be witnessed on the political turf, given the wider political implications the case has for the BJP as a party, particularly Narendra Modi — its possible prime ministerial candidate for 2014. The details brought out in the charge sheet about the criminal conspiracy — abduction, illegal confinement and, finally, the gruesome killings — raise serious questions about the functioning of the Gujarat police.
The CBI charge sheet has certainly given a new dimension to the encounter in which 19-year-old Ishrat was killed. But it is shocking to see the Congress trying to gain mileage from the issue. Politics can’t be played over fake encounters. May I ask the Congress what it has to say about the 2008 Batla House encounter? Why has the party failed to bring the truth before all?
Mohd Mudassir Alam,
The content and construction of the CBI charge sheet looks like a “carefully worded” politician’s statement. It is clear that the agency has not decided or is awaiting orders on what to do with the IB officials involved. The Gujarat Police did not go to Maharashtra and abduct Ishrat. She travelled to Ahmedabad with three others.
Ishrat’s family members have never explained why she went to Ahmedabad. The LeT website said the men killed were its members. The politics over this episode will demoralise the police forces.