The Supreme Court order transferring the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case to the CBI has come as a shot in the arm for activists and a non-government organisation.
They now have a legal precedent in asking for investigation by the same agency into other alleged fake encounters.
Ishrat Jahan, a Mumbai college girl, was killed along with three others in June 2004 near Ahmedabad.
In September last year, a local magistrate, SP Tamang, said in his report that the Ishrat encounter was fake.
“We will take up this order (of the Supreme Court) to prove our point that (a CBI inquiry is needed into other cases like that of Ishrat Jahan),” said Mukul Sinha, a senior Gujarat HC lawyer representing Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin.
“These are a series of incidents that are connected (to target innocent people by branding them as terrorists planning to kill Narendra Modi),” Sinha told HT.
The Ishrat case will come up for hearing in the Supreme Court later this month.
According to the Jan Sangharsh Manch, an NGO fighting on behalf of the victims of alleged fake encounters in Gujarat, the state police “staged seven fake encounters” between 2002 and 2007 and 15 people were killed in those.
The state anti-terrorist squad said the group (including Ishrat) arrived in the city to assassinate a prominent leader, a claim that the state used in other similar cases, including that of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.
“As the state had to keep faith in its agencies, we let them investigate (the encounters),” said Jay Narayan Vyas, Gujarat minister for health and tourism.