The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe into the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case has turned the spotlight on the role of two then serving IPS officers — KR Kaushik and PP Pandey — who allegedly orchestrated the incident.
Kaushik, who was the Ahmedabad police commissioner at the time, has since retired. Pandey, who is now additional director general of police was the joint police commissioner in 2004.
“We suspect they were part of the conspiracy and played a key role in preparing the background for an encounter that never occurred,” said a CBI source, adding that the agency was likely to grill the duo soon.
“As per the Ahmedabad police’s First Information Report, filed after the alleged encounter on June 15, 2004, the duo had received prior intelligence about the so-called terror mission. In reality, the four terror suspects were killed while in illegal police custody between 7 pm and midnight of June 14, 2004, as per forensic findings,” said the source.
The FIR, lodged by then police inspector JG Parmar, had stated that around June 1 Kaushik received an intelligence that supposedly two Pakistani Lashkar e Taiba suicide killers — who were among the four deceased — had set out from Kashmir along with a Pune LeT operative Javed Sheikh.
Sheikh was also killed in the encounter along with Jahan. The source added, “The input received by Kaushik had allegedly specified that the three were on a mission to kill Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in a suicide attack.” According to the FIR, Pandey too had received similar intelligence just a day before the alleged encounter.
The CBI probe, however, revealed there was no documentary evidence of the intelligence received by Kaushik and Pandey or of the meeting attended by police officials to devise a strategy to counter the terrorists after the two alerts.