The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the June 2004 fake encounter case is probing two possible motives behind the killing of the four deceased, including Mumbai’s Ishrat Jahan. The accused police officers may have craved for career-related benefits or the deceased may have witnessed a crime and were thus potential threats.
A file photo of demonstrators holding a candlelight vigil for Ishrat Jahan.
A CBI source said, “The charge sheeted police officials of the Ahmedabad Crime Branch may have done it in the expectation of reaping personal career-related benefits including promotions.”
The source said, “Besides, the deceased, or at least some of them, could have witnessed any crime and were therefore bumped off as potential threats by the accused police officials.”
The CBI’s case charge sheet submitted on Wednesday had skipped the encounter’s motive but will detail it in its supplementary charge sheet, said the source.
Joint teams of the Ahmedabad Crime Branch (CB) and the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) had detained the deceased on suspicions that they were Lashkar-e-Taiba suicide-attackers plotting to kill chief minister Narendra Modi and four other targets.
According to the charge sheet, a deceased, Amjad Ali, had stated that he had come to Ahmedabad with a plan to commit a terrorist act at some crowded location.
Ali, according to an Intelligence Bureau communication to the CBI, was allegedly identified as a Pakistani LeT operative “Babar” by another Pakistani operative, Shahid Basra, who was arrested in Kashmir but is now dead. Gujarat police officials had allegedly examined a Delhi doctor who had treated his shoulder wound.
“Our mandate is to probe whether the encounter was fake or not, it does not matter whether they were terrorists or not,” said the source.
MAKE FACTS PUBLIC: BJP
The BJP on Saturday stepped up its attack on the government in the Ishrat case, accusing it of making an “angel” out of an “LeT operative”.
It demanded that home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde “make the entire report and statement pertaining to Ishrat Jahan’s case public”, asking him to conduct himself as a home minister and not a political party member.