The mother of Mumbai teenager Ishrat Jahan, killed along with three others in an alleged fake encounter by Gujarat Police in Ahmedabad in 2004, on Tuesday claimed her daughter was "innocent" and cited the arrest of several policemen in the case to support her assertion.
"I have been fighting for the past nine years and telling everyone that my daughter was innocent. This has been proved right as many top officers involved in the killing of my daughter have been arrested and more will be behind bar soon," Shamima Kauser said here.
"Since the day of her (Ishrat's) murder, I have been stating that my daughter was innocent and had no links whatsoever with any terrorist or criminal," she told media-persons outside the Gujarat High Court Court complex in Ahmedabad.
"I categorically asserted the same in a writ petition filed by me in August 2004 before the high court, seeking a CBI inquiry to establish the innocence of my daughter and justice through punishment of her killers," she said in a written statement released by her advocate Vrinda Grover.
"For nine long years, the Gujarat state has abused its power to obstruct, delay and derail the investigation, so that the hands and masterminds behind this heinous crime are shielded from legal accountability," she added.
"The state of Gujarat and its senior IPS officers have filed frivolous and vexatious petitions in the Supreme Court, coerced witnesses, and deployed many other unlawful tactics. My lawyers have resolutely met each challenge and worked to uncover the truth," Kauser maintained.
Jahan (19), Javed alias Pranesh Pillai and two others were gunned down by Ahmedabad Crime Branch near here on June 15, 2004 on the ground that they were terrorists on a mission to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Kauser said "the report of the judicial inquiry conducted by magistrate S P Tamang in September 2009 concluded that my daughter was innocent and had been murdered by Gujarat police officers and men."
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), appointed by the high court, too, concluded in 2011 that the encounter was fake and the college girl had been killed in custody, she said.
Kauser made the assertions on a day when the high court asked CBI to file a charge sheet in the case by July 4.
She expressed surprise over "attempts" to protect Intelligence Bureau Special Director Rajinder Kumar, who was today grilled by CBI in the Ishrat case.