With the CBI making clear that a chargesheet against Intelligence Bureau (IB) special director Rajinder Kumar in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case is just a matter of days, it is yet to be seen how far the IB will defend him.
Ishrat's relatives collect her body from a hospital in Ahmedabad on June 18, 2004. File photo
In the twilight of his career, IB special director Rajinder Kumar, a 1979 batch IPS officer of Manipur-Tripura cadre, is fighting the most difficult battle of his professional life.
He is retiring on July 31. So far, the IB has maintained that Kumar’s role was limited only to generating intelligence input in the matter.
But the CBI on Wednesday said Kumar went beyond generating input and actively participated in the conspiracy to kill Ishrat, Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, Amjadali Rana and Jeeshan Johar.
His juniors in Ahmedabad IB office picked Ishrat and Javed from a toll plaza and illegally confined them where Kumar interrogated them.
The agency has alleged that Kumar was instrumental in arranging weapons that were planted at the encounter site.
According to sources, just few days back at a farewell dinner, former and current IB officials were seen telling Kumar to not worry about the CBI probe.
But on Wednesday evening, it was just stunned silence and barely concealed annoyance with the CBI.
Morale down in IB after failing Kumar
Despite numerous efforts, the IB has failed to keep Rajender Kumar away from the prying eyes of CBI.
Director Intelligence Bureau Asif Ibrahim personally ran from pillar to post to get justice to Rajender Kumar and shield the over 150-year-old institution from CBI’s intrusive eyes, and the agency after the Ishrat Jahan charge sheet filed today feels it is headed for more trouble in the January 2003 Sadiq Jamal encounter case.
The mood in the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC), which is the link between Indian intelligence agencies and the states, was also dark with officers vocal against the CBI for targeting IB.
“It is our duty to send alerts against terrorists. It is for the states to take action to vacate the terrorist threat. If this is the way the CBI will continue, then every officer will be wary of sending intelligence alerts,” said a senior IB officer.