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HC panel to probe Gujarat killings

india Updated: Aug 14, 2009 01:59 IST
Prasad Nichenametla
Prasad Nichenametla
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday appointed a three-member committee of top police officers to probe the encounter death of 19-year-old Mumbai student Ishrat Jahan and three others in Ahmedabad in 2004.

The probe has been ordered on the basis of a petition filed by her mother Shamima Kauser, who alleged that Jahan was killed in a fake encounter and that she was not connected with any terror group.

The Gujarat Police had claimed that Jahan and the others were Lashkar-e-Tayyeba activists and had been killed in a gun battle in Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

The three others killed by the cops were Javed Ghulam Shaikh from Pune, Amjad Ali and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani.

The police had claimed that the four were out to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The Gujarat High Court’s decision follows a Supreme Court order for a probe into the alleged fake encounter death of Sohrabuddin Sheikh on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in November 2005.

His wife Kauser Bi and another witness to his killing went missing. It was alleged that the police killed them too to destroy evidence.

The killings of Jahan and Sohrabuddin were carried out when Modi was the CM.

IPS officer D.G. Vanzara was heading the team that carried out both encounters. Vanzara is now in jail, facing trial for Sohrabuddin’s killing and his role in Jahan’s death is expected to be probed by the team appointed by the high court on Thursday.

The HC has asked Additional Director General of Police Pramod Kumar as chairman of the probe committee with IG Mohan Jha and DIG J.K. Bhatt as members. The team is to submit report by November 30.

“So far, the same department which carried out the encounter was also probing the matter like a family affair,” Mukul Sinha, senior advocate representing Kauser told HT.