A special investigation team of the Gujarat Police probing the alleged encounter of Mumbai college student Ishrat Jahan has found that the 2004 shooting was staged, a top police officer said on Sunday.
The three-member team comprising senior Gujarat police officers is to submit its findings to the Gujarat High Court next month.
Nineteen-year-old Jahan was gunned down, along with Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani, for allegedly plotting to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
They were proclaimed as Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) operatives on a fidayeen mission by the then deputy commissioner of police D.G Vanzara, who is a prime accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and is currently in jail.
The officer, who did not want to be named, said there were glaring loopholes in the police theory that the four belonged to LeT.
“From the evidence, it appears that Jahan and Sheikh might have never met Ali and Gani. Ali and Gani were Pakistanis. It is possible that all the four were put in a car by the police before they were bumped off,” the officer said.
The SIT has also questioned the police claim about a possible terrorist attack on Modi, he said.
“Forensic evidence suggests that all four were shot from point-blank range, which is not how terrorists on a fidayeen mission are killed,” he said.
DGP Pramod Kumar, who heads the investigation team, refused to speak. “I cannot comment on the SIT probe because the matter is sub judice,” he said.
The SIT report, when submitted, will vindicate last year’s findings by metropolitan magistrate S.P. Tamang.