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Modi’s woes on ‘staged killings’ set to multiply


New Delhi : The Gujarat government's woes over allegations of staged killings in the state are set to multiply as an NGO is to approach the Supreme Court Tuesday over extra-judicial execution of one more Muslim youth in the state in 2002.

Civil rights group Action Now for Harmony and Democracy (Anhad) along with film lyricist Javed Akhtar and senior advocate Prashant Bhushan will approach the apex court for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the killing of Sameer Khan, who had been dubbed by the Gujarat police as a Pakistan-trained Jaish-e-Mohammad militant.

The Gujarat High Court in its ruling recently had dismissed the state government's contention that Sameer Khan was a Jaish-e-Mohammad militant, Anhad convenor Shabnam Hashmi told IANS Monday.

Hashmi quoted from the report of Gujarat's Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tirath Raj, who had probed into Sameer Khan's killing in "encounter" or shootout with police in Ahmedabad, and alleged that the Chief Minister's Office was involved in hatching the conspiracy for the crime.

She said Raj had "referred to the involvement of P.K. Mishra, then Modi's principal secretary, and the state's director general of police" in the hushing up the probe into the killing.

Hashmi also quoted from a forensic report to substantiate her allegation that Khan's killing was a staged one.

"The forensic report said that the trajectory of the bullet established that Sameer Khan had been hit from a close range and not while fleeing as the Gujarat police had everyone believe," she said.

She added: "Traces of gunpowder were also found on Sameer Khan's shirt, another forensic fact that establishes that Khan was shot at from point-blank range."

Hashmi said that Deputy Superintendent of Police I.K. Yadav, who had made some preliminary enquiry into the "suspected extra-judicial killing", had been threatened by then Deputy Inspector General of Police D.G. Vanjhara, who is currently in judicial custody for his alleged role in the staged killing of Ujjain youth Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

Hashmi expressed her resolve to move apex court on a day when the vacation bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and D.K. Jain admitted a petition seeking a CBI probe into another alleged staged killing in Gujarat of a youth from Kerala in 2004.

M.R. Gopinatha Pillai of Kerala sought the probe into the death of his son Pranesh Kumar Pillai, who had changed his name to Javed Gulam Mohammed Sheikh after converting to Islam.