Vanzara’s role clear in Ishrat encounter: CBI court

D G Vanzara

Ahmedabad: A special CBI court here has said that prima facie former police officer D G Vanzara’s role was “clear and greater” than that of former DGP P P Pandey in the Ishrat Jahan case.

Pandey has been discharged in the case by the same court. Special CBI judge J K Pandya also said that another accused, N K Amin, who had also filed a discharge application, was present at the spot during the encounter.

The court yesterday rejected discharge pleas of both Vanzara and Amin. The detailed order copy became available yesterday.

“From the statements of police constable, police sub-inspector and police inspector (who were made witnesses by the CBI), it prima facie appears that the role of accused No 3 (Vanzara) is clear and greater than accused No 2 (Pandey),” the court said.

Vanzara had sought discharge on the ground of parity with Pandey. On Amin, the court said, “It is clear that accused No 5 N K Amin had intercepted and apprehended Ishrat and Javed from Vasad Toll Booth on 12 June, 2004, and during encounter he was present at the scene of incident.”

The court also said that it is important to seek clarity regarding sanction for prosecution against these two retired officers as they were “on official duty” when the alleged staged encounter took place.

“The CBI is directed to either obtain sanction for prosecution from the concerned authority or declare in writing the legal position with regard to sanction so that further trial can be held,” it said.

Ishrat Jahan

Vanzara, a former deputy inspector general of police in Gujarat, had sought discharge on the ground of parity with the state’s former in-charge Director General of Police P P Pandey, who was discharged in the case in February for want of evidence.

Amin, who retired as the superintendent of police, sought discharge stating that the encounter was genuine and testimonies of witnesses produced by the CBI were not reliable.

CBI and Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kauser had opposed their discharge pleas. Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old woman from Mumbra area of Thane district near Mumbai and three others — Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar — were killed by the police in an “encounter” on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on 15 June, 2004.

Police had claimed that the four had terror links and had plotted to kill then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. A CBI probe held that the encounter was fake.