The Ahmedabad crime branch’s then police inspector Tarun Barot had told Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh and Jishan Johar not to worry, hours before they were gunned down in an alleged fake encounter on June 15, 2004, says the CBI chargesheet.
According to eyewitness head constable Avanish Thakur, around 7pm a day before the encounter, Barot told the trio: “There is nothing to worry”. Thakur, along with two others, was given the task to keep an eye on the detainees at the Khodiyar farmhouse on the city outskirts.
“Tarun Barot told me…that the two boys and the girl are going to be moved to another place… at about 3am,” Thakur said in his statement.
The detainees were blindfolded and their hands tied but Barot had brought food for them, Thakur said.
According to the witness account of then sub-inspector Kalubhai Desai, he had seen Ishrat and Shaikh during their illegal detention at the farmhouse on June 12, 2004, along with their Indica car (MH 02 JA 4786).
Two days later, when the then assistant commissioner of police NK Amin asked him to keep a watch on a car bearing the same number since it would be used to ferry two alleged terrorists, Desai told him the car was at the farmhouse. Amin snubbed him and said “Don’t mention again,” said Desai.