The relations between the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the CBI have soured over the indictment of IB's special director Rajinder Kumar in the Ishrat Jahan case.
"We are not on a witch hunt against the IB. There were 18-20 IB officials posted at the Ahmedabad station, but we have identified only four of them that we suspect may have participated in the fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan and three others," said a senior CBI official.
Sources in the CBI said involvement in an encounter killing was not part of the official duty of any IB official, therefore, they would not seek sanction for prosecution of accused IB officials under section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code that gives protection to government servants for official discharge of their duty. The agency didn't invoke the section for the first charge sheet against Gujarat police officials, too.
But, IB refused to buy the argument.
"Encounter killing is indefensible, but IB officials at most were involved in covert surveillance operation. The CBI probe will have disastrous consequences. Officials are already talking about withdrawing from operations," said an IB official.