Reacting to the CBI court’s verdict discharging the last three cops accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case of 2004, Madhya Pradesh Minister and BJP leader Narottam Mishra on Wednesday said those who raised questions over the case and attempted to ‘break India’ has been proven false.
Speaking to Republic TV, Mishra hit out at the Opposition parties saying, “Those who attempted to break the country have been proven false. Questions are being raised over the court’s judgement. When Pakistani terrorists infiltrate India and conduct surgical strike, they raised questions on the Army. When they lost elections, they doubted the EVM machines or raised questions on the EC. Such people only back the tukde-tukde gang. Their politics has nothing to do with the country, it is limited to their personal benfits and of their families,” he added.
A special CBI court in Ahmedabad discharged three police officers - IPS officer GL Singhal, retired DySP Tarun Barot, and assistant sub-inspector Anaju Chaudhary in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case observing that the police action taken was in "discharge of their duties". Two other cops, DG Vanzara and NK Amin were discharged from the case in 2020.
“Being high-rank police officers, it was their duty to take necessary steps. There is no question of any fake encounter on part of any such police officer. There is no evidence to show that Jahan and the other three were not terrorists,” the court ruled.
In June 2004, the Gujarat Crime Branch gunned down 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan and three others - Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai and Jishan Johar, Amjad Ali Akbar Ali Rana claiming their links to terrorists. The police alleged that Jahan and others had plotted to kill the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. Defending accused cops - Vanzara and Amin, the then-BJP Gujarat government had denied sanction to prosecute them under section 197 of the CrPC, which required prior sanction is required from a competent authority to prosecute a public servant.
Later the CBI had sought the Gujarat government's response for sanctioning the cops, which was denied again by the state government. Jahan's mother Shamima Kauser had moved the CBI court seeking a copy of the state government's refusal to sanction the accused police officials - which was refused by the court. On March 23, 2020, the Court had discharged Vanzara and Amin in the case after the two had moved the court to drop proceedings against them in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan "fake encounter case".