The father of Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh - one of the victims in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case - has said he is happy the truth has come out after nine long years, through the CBI's first chargesheet on the case.
"He was caught with three others and kept in custody for many days before shot in cold blood. The murder drama was enacted to boost Modi's image which was at its nadir after the Gujarat riots," Gopinathan Pillai, a native of Alappuzha, said.
Pranesh alias Javed Sheikh was killed along with Ishrat Jahan and two others, in an encounter by the Gujarat police on June 15, 2004. The police alleged that the four were Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives involved in a plot to kill Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.
Pranesh had converted into Islam in 1990 to marry a Muslim woman Sajidha. Though his father claimed that he had no criminal past, the Mumbai police said he was quite active in a currency counterfeit racket. A week before his death, Pranesh had visited his ailing father in Alapuzha.
The CBI had filed a chargesheet in an Ahmedabad court on July 3, 2013, contending that the encounter was fake and carried out in cold blood.