Nine years after Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old, second year college student from Mumbra, was gunned down along with three others by the Ahmedabad crime branch, the case has been in spotlight again after the Gujarat high court on Friday rapped the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a delay in filing a chargesheet in the case, that led to five officers getting bail.
HT spoke to Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kausar to find out what they feel about the developments in the probe.
Are you satisfied with the probe conducted by the CBI in the case so far?
The CBI is doing well but there seems to be some problem every once in a while.
For instance, they should have submitted the chargesheet in time (within 90 days of the arrest of the accused), as it would have prevented the accused from getting bail. We do not know what got them delayed.
However, bail is a temporary solution for the accused and we are confident that ultimately the crime on their part of will be proved and they will be sent behind bars.
While rapping the CBI for failing to file the chargesheet, Gujarat high court remarked ‘..the court is not concerned whether they were terrorists or normal human beings. In any case they should not have been liquidated’. But for you, how important is it that your daughter be given a clean chit vis a vis her alleged link with a terror organization by the court in addition to the encounter being proved fake?
Honestly, for us, the fact that my daughter was not linked to any terror organization is more important.
While it is very important to prove that Ishrat was killed in a fake encounter, her reputation and our family’s reputation has taken a beating ever since allegations have been made of her links with terror activities.
However, even if one were to assume a person is a terrorist, does it give the state the right to kill them?
Did you ever try to find out by yourself how your daughter ended up in Gujarat and other aspects like the series of events that took place after she left your house to be found dead four days later? Have you spoken to families of the other three who were also killed?
I have not interacted with the families of the other three and I would not like to comment on that.
I can tell you that we trust our daughter completely and she was someone who could not get into something like this. It is beyond our wildest imagination.
There are several things like why was my daughter targeted by the Gujarat police, that I have no clarity on. All I know is that my daughter has been framed.
Personally, what have been the most trying moments for you in the past nine years?
The toughest moments have to be the several months we spent in 2005, after approaching an Ahmedabad court.
We got no response for several months from the authorities. I thought the case was going to die down and we were very anxious because we did not know what to do to be heard.
However soon we got help from several people and got a lawyer. Since then there has been some progress. From being someone who had never visited the local police chowky to learning how courts operate, it has been a long journey.