A day after the Gujarat government rejected Metropolitan Magistrate S P Tamang’s report that the encounters of Mumbai college student Ishrat Jahan and three others were fake, social activist Teesta Setalvad demanded probe into all encounters in the state since 2002.
However, BJP state president Pursottam Rupala rubbished the demand, claiming that the state’s actions were justified.
Jahan, along with Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Shaikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Jeeshan Johar, were killed in an encounter by the city crime branch here on June 15, 2004.
As the case came back into public glare, following the revelation by Magistrate Tamang, Setalvad’s non-government organisation, Citizens for Justice and Peace, on Wednesday presented kin of two other victims of alleged police atrocities.
“Criminal proceedings should be initiated, besides disciplinary actions, against the officers,” said Setalvad, giving details of 11 cases where at least 20 persons had lost their lives.
She alleged that a group of senior police officials engineered the shootouts to make chief minister Narendra Modi happy.
Setalvad presented the kin of Mahendra Jadhav and Qasim (known only by his first name), who were allegedly killed after being taken into police custody in June 2003 and December 2006, respectively.
The encounters drew strong criticism from former additional director general of police (intelligence) Sri Kumar, who alleged that the series of encounters were part of a “planned political strategy to propel Modi as a strict chief minister”.
But BJP leader Rupala said the encounters were genuine and those killed were terrorists.