Maharashtra cadre IPS officer Satyapal Singh on Saturday took charge of the special investigation team (SIT) appointed by Gujarat high court to probe the encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others.
Singh, who had earlier in a letter to the Gujarat high court had expressed reluctance to accept the post, changed his mind and formally took over the SIT post, officials sources said.
In a letter written to the Gujarat high court last week, Singh, who was posted as ADGP (Law & Order), had said that the Maharashtra government was reluctant to relieve him for heading the probe of Ishrat's encounter.
After taking over the charge at the SIT office in Shahibhaug area of the city on Saturday, Singh told reporters, "earlier the situation was different, now I have been relieved and I have taken charge".
A division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari had appointed Singh as head of the special investigation team on May 12.
Singh was appointed after the then SIT chairman Karnal Singh expressed desire to withdraw from the probe following his posting in Mizoram.
Ishrat along with three others - Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar — were killed in a police encounter on June 15, 2004.
After the encounter, city crime branch had claimed that the deceased were LET terrorists who had come to kill Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.