The Gujarat government on Monday told the Gujarat High Court that the home department had issued a notification for constituting a special investigation team to probe the alleged false encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan by the state police in 2004.
Jahan (19), a college girl from Mumbai, and three others were supposedly killed by the Ahmedabad Police on the outskirts of the city in June 2004.
“As per the high court order, a notification has been issued and now it’s up to the SIT (special investigation team) chief to initiate a probe,” said additional chief secretary (home) Balwant Singh.
Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Mohan Jha, who is part of the SIT, said: “We have received the notification issued by the state home department and we’ll start the probe in a couple of days.”
The notification incorporated the high court’s direction that the SIT shall not take direct or indirect assistance from any state police officer involved in the case. The team is supposed to submit its first report within three months of starting the probe. Around 24 police officials have been accused of conducting the “staged killing of four persons”.
Karnal Singh, an IPS officer of the Arunachal, Goa, and Mizoram cadre and now a Delhi Police joint commissioner on deputation, will head the SIT.
Apart from Singh and Jha, the SIT has Satish Varma, an IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre.
The Gujarat High Court had earlier asked the Supreme Court-appointed SIT, which is looking into the Gujarat riots of 2002, to take up the Ishrat Jahan case. However, when the apex court raised objections, the high court took the alternative step.
This is the third major probe that has been taken out of the hands of Gujarat police. An SIT appointed by the Supreme Court is investigating the Gujarat riots of 2002 and CBI is probing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case.