A day after Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate SP Tamang stated in his probe report that the encounter in which Mumbai college student Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in 2004 was fake, her family members demanded the most stringent of punishments for those responsible for her death.
Ishrat Jahan, Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani were killed in an encounter by the Ahmedabad police, led by the then Deputy Commissioner of Police DG Vanzara, on June 15, 2004. The police had justified the killing, saying the four were Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operatives.
“We have been saying since day one that Ishrat was killed in a fake encounter. She loved this country as much as you and I do. No force can make my sister come back but we are happy that we have got justice... We don’t know why Ishrat was killed. But we want those guilty to be punished severely so that nobody else’s sister is killed. So many innocent people have been killed in fake encounters in Gujarat,” said Ishrat’s younger sister Musarrat Jahan (22), a receptionist at an office in Mumbra, 25 km east of Mumbai.
Said their mother Shamima Kausar (45), “Nothing can compensate all that we have lost in these five years because of my daughter being called a terrorist. My children’s careers and education were affected due to the blot on our family.”
Though the family has not pointed fingers at anyone, Rauf Lala of My Mumbra made some startling revelations.
“Our lawyers came to know that Ishrat was picked up from Mumbra with the help of an encounter specialist in Maharashtra. The magistrate’s report states that the police had killed Ishrat and the others to appease the head of the state. But it is to be seen whether the police team had done the encounter on the orders of the head of the state. We think it was not only the police officers but the entire system which was involved in this,” said Lala.