The Gujarat High Court on Friday pulled up the State government for “shielding, protecting and siding with police officials” accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
A Division Bench — which comprised Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari — observed that the Special Investigation Team earlier alleged interference on the part of the State while the CBI report left no doubt that the State government was shielding the accused cops.
A CBI court recently issued an arrest warrant against Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) P.P. Pandey. The CBI is looking for him.
The court also took exception to the State government’s stance on senior IPS officer Satish Verma, who was assisting the Central agency in the case. While the court had asked the CBI to continue availing itself of Mr. Verma’s services to nab the other accused, the State sought Mr. Verma’s services for law and order.
It was Mr. Verma who had called the encounter a cold-blooded murder in sharp contrast to his police colleagues. He was part of the SIT.
The Mumbai-based college student was killed by officials of the Ahmedabad Crime Branch on June 15, 2004, along with three others whom the police had claimed to be operatives of the dreaded terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. The group, according to Crime Branch officials, had entered Gujarat to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.