Special Correspondent

GANDHINAGAR: Contrary to metropolitan magistrate S.P. Tamang’s report that Ishrat and another accomplice, Javed Sheikh, who was also killed in the 2004 encounter in Ahmedabad, had no links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Centre its affidavit filed before the High Court last month in connection with a petition filed by Ishrat’s mother, Shamima Kausar, seeking a CBI probe into the incident, had stated that they were closely associated with the Lashkar and had been sent to Gujarat to carry out subversive activities.

Opposing a fresh CBI inquiry, the Union Under Secretary in his 14-page affidavit filed on August 6, said the central intelligence agencies were aware of the activities of the LeT operatives in the country and had been from time to time sharing inputs with the concerned State governments.

The affidavit said Javed Sheikh, a convert, had a criminal background and had four cases registered against him by the Pune police between 1992 and 1998. He had obtained a passport in July 1994, under his Muslim name, describing himself as the son of Moohammad, and had travelled on it to Dubai and other places several times. Though the passport was valid till 2004, he obtained another in September 2003, under his original Hindu name, Pranesh Pillai, son of Gopinath Pillai, giving his Kerala address where he never stayed.

It said the affidavits filed by Mr. Gopinath Pillai in the Supreme Court and Shamima Kausar in the Gujarat High Court gave contradictory information about their background and activities. While Mr. Pillai claimed that his son, Javed, was working with a Pune-based travel agency and frequently took tourists on assignments, Shamima said Ishrat was appointed as a sales girl in Javed’s business of perfumes and toiletries.

Pointing out that the two others killed in the encounter, Amzad Ali Rana, and Zeeshan Jauhar, were bonafide Pakistani citizens and known LeT operatives, the affidavit said Javed was known to be in close touch with some LeT operatives, particularly with one Muzammil. Amzad Ali alias Babbar, who was injured in an encounter with the Jammu and Kashmir police in May 2004, and was treated in Delhi, had entered India with Zeeshan Jauhar with specific instructions to organise a terrorist network in Gujarat. Javed was in close touch with him, it said.

The affidavit said most of the intelligence inputs about the movements of the four were provided to the Gujarat police by the central intelligence agencies.

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