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HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014

Ishrat encounter accused Pande hides in open sight

Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times  Ahmedabad, July 05, 2013
First Published: 00:29 IST(5/7/2013) | Last Updated: 00:31 IST(5/7/2013)

Senior Gujarat police officer PP Pande, charge sheeted by the CBI for the “cold blooded” murder of Ishrat and three others, has been proclaimed absconder.

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His whereabouts are a mystery, even when his alternate address is on the books. And the man continues to draw a salary, since he is officially on indefinite medical leave.

Pande, the additional director general of CID (crime), had proceeded on indefinite leave in May when the CBI summoned him for questioning him in the case.

“A CBI court first issued an arrest warrant against him, and then he was made a proclaimed absconder,” said a CBI officer.

The state home department maintains that Pande “has not been suspended”. “In the police force, every policeman has to give the  address where he is to be found during his absence, so why doesn’t the government disclose his address?” questioned advocate Mukul Sinha.

The contrast between Pande’s treatment and the one meted out to police officers who took a stand against the state government over the 2002 riots has raised the hackles of activists.

RB Sreekumar’s promotion was withheld and he had to approach CAT and the high court to get his due. Rahul Sharma, Rajnish Rai and Satish Verma were allegedly victimised. Sanjiv Bhatt was suspended after he filed an affidavit against CM Narendra Modi.


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