No objection to CBI probe into Ishrat killing: central government


Gandhinagar: The central government Wednesday clarified in an affidavit before the Gujarat High Court that it would not object to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the police killing of Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jehan and three others if the court so deemed it.

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A three-page affidavit filed by Undersecretary (Home) R.V.S. Mani, who had earlier filed an affidavit saying Ishrat Jehan’s associates were terrorists connected with the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), revised the government’s stand. It said the government was not aware that a magisterial inquiry under section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was pending and that Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate S.P. Tamang described as fake the police shootout in which four people were killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad June 15, 2004.

Following the magistrate’s report, the affidavit said, the central government would have no objection if the high court thought it fit to order a CBI inquiry into the allegedly staged shootout.

Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kausar too had filed an affidavit demanding a CBI inquiry, following which the high court had appointed a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the top state police officers to investigate the case afresh.

In its earlier affidavit the central government had cited “intelligence inputs” to describe Ishrat and Javed Ghulam Muhammad Sheikh, who were among the four killed, as LeT operatives.

However, the fresh affidavit said that “such inputs do not constitute conclusive proof and it is for the state government and the state police to act on such inputs”.

The latest affidavit added: “As such and otherwise, the central government was not concerned with the merits of the action taken by the Gujarat police and anything stated in the affidavit was not intended to support or justify the action of the state police.”

Reacting to the fresh affidavit, state government spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas accused the central government of double speak.