The killing of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar in an alleged fake gunfight by the Gujarat police in January 2003 is likely to pit the country's two premier agencies, CBI and IB, against each other once more.
Such a possibility has arisen after the CBI, which is probing the case on Gujarat high court's directions, recently questioned deputy national security advisor Nehchal Sandhu who was IB joint director (operation) at the time of Sadiq's killing.
Following the questioning, a CBI official said on the condition of anonymity that the agency has got crucial evidence suggesting the IB was "hand in glove" with the state police in the killing.
In July this year, the IB had fiercely denied involvement of its officials in the case.
On January 3, 2003, Sadiq was killed by the police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. While the police claimed he was on a mission to target Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, the CBI in its first chargesheet had said he had been framed and subsequently killed in cold blood 10 days after his arrest.
Sadiq was the domestic help of a Dubai-based Indian businessman, Tariq Parveen, who allegedly had connections with the underworld. But after a petty fight, Parveen got Jamal deported to Mumbai, where he ended up in police custody.
Sadiq had been arrested on the basis of a "fake alert" sent by the IB officer Rajendar Kumar who had also issued a dubious alert in Ishrat Jahan encounter case. After Sandhu approved the alert, Sadiq had been handed over to the Gujarat police by their Mumbai counterparts.