The special investigation team (SIT) appointed by the Gujarat high court to probe the death of Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan has found evidence that questions state police’s claim that she died in a genuine encounter.
Having seized the computer hard disk at the forensic science laboratory, the SIT has retrieved original photographs showing bullet marks on various parts of the bodies of Ishrat and her three slain companions.
"One photograph shows bullet marks on the back of the deceased, which punctures the police claim the four alleged terrorists were killed during an exchange of fire. It now emerges they were also shot at from behind,” an insider said.
In another photograph, an AK 47 rifle is seen lying besides the bodies of the four but its magazine has not been found, implying the rifle may have been planted after they were killed.
Also, analysis of the photographs and the scene of the crime did not square with the description given in the FIR lodged following the encounter, the insider added.
However, Delhi police joint commissioner Karnail Singh, who is heading the SIT, had this to say: "We are investigating the case (in accordance with) the high court direction, so no comment can be made on any aspect of the investigation. We will give all details of the investigation in the report to be submitted to the high court on April 5."
Meanwhile, the Gujarat high court has permitted the SIT to access magistrate SP Tamang’s report, which said the encounter was a fake one. He had based his inquiry on forensic and medical evidence, and other reports.
Ishrat (19), a Mumbai college student, was killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004, along with Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar. The crime branch had then said the four were members of the banned Lashkar-e-Tayeeba and were on a mission to kill chief minister Narendra Modi.