A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe has found no evidence of the 70 bullets said to have been fired at four alleged terror suspects — including Mumbai’s Ishrat Jahan — during a police encounter that took place on June 15, 2004 in Ahmedabad.
Police documents had maintained that seven policemen of the Ahmedabad crime branch had fired 70 bullets using two AK-47 automatics, a sten gun, and three service revolvers at the deceased near Kotarpur Water Works in the city. “Not a single spent shell fired from their weapons was, however, found during forensic examination,” said a CBI source.
The examination has showed that only 50 spent cartridges, of 7.62 mm calibre, were recovered from the spot and that they were suspected to have been fired from an unlicensed, illegal AK-56 automatic. According to the source, the four deceased were suspected to have been killed away from the encounter site a day before the incident with three weapons that the policemen had not used at all in the encounter — an AK-56 and two pistols of 9-mm calibre.
The AK-56 was shown to have been recovered from one of the deceased, an alleged Pakistani called Amjad Ali, by the accused officials.
The accused brought their bodies to the site early the next day, the source said. Forensic tests with the use of cotton swabs revealed that the deceased had not fired a single bullet at the encounter site. No residue of exploded ammunition was found on their hands.
The accused policemen are suspected to have planted 17 kg of explosives on the four deceased, according to findings of the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Gujarat high court. The team’s report found a mention in the CBI’s First Information Report in the case.