The first charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case has several senior officers of the Gujarat police in the dock yet again.
Altogether, eight senior officers are among the accused in the four encounter cases declared as fake by the agency. The common name is “encounter specialist” DG Vanzara.
In the Ishrat case, the CBI has booked eight policemen, including three senior officers.
The charges against them include murder, criminal conspiracy, abduction, illegal confinement, and destruction of evidence.
Besides Vanzara -- already in jail over charges in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Tulsiram Prajapati and Sadiq Jamal fake encounter cases -- additional director general of police PP Pande, who has been absconding for two months, is among the accused.
The other accused, GL Singhal, has got bail since the CBI had not filed a charge sheet against him within the stipulated 90 days.
Though Singhal has so far been implicated only in the Ishrat case, his name had figured in the Sohrabuddin case as well.
Vanzara now faces four cases, in which eight persons were killed. “As the deputy commissioner of the Ahmedabad crime branch and then the head of anti-terror squad, Vanzara organised eight encounters in which more than a dozen people were killed.
All were petty criminals,” said a lawyer connected with the cases. “He was the most trusted officer of junior home minister Amit Shah and chief minister Narendra Modi.”
The other senior policemen involved in the Sohrabuddin and the Tulsiram Prajapati case include Vipul Aggarwal, Abhay Chudasama and Rajkumar Pandian.
Two other officers accused in the Ishrat case are allegedly involved in the other cases as well. Both are in jail. NK Amin is accused in Sohrabuddin and Sadiq Jamal cases. Tarun Barot, the sharp shooter of Gujarat police, is accused in the Sadiq Jamal case.
Besides these senior officers, over a dozen junior officers accused in the encounter cases are currently in jail.
The Supreme Court had transferred the Sohrabuddin case to Mumbai for trial. The Tulsiram Prajapati case has been clubbed with it for a common trial.