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Gujarat cops demand CBI inquiry into Ishrat Jahan

Fourteen Gujarat police officers on Tuesday filed an application in the Gujarat high court seeking the handover of the encounter probe to the CBI and divest IPS officer Satish Verma of the responsibility.

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Gujarat cops demand CBI inquiry into Ishrat Jahan
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Fourteen Gujarat police officers on Tuesday filed an application in the Gujarat high court seeking the handover of the Ishrat Jahan encounter probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation and divest IPS officer Satish Verma of the responsibility.

However, Justice Jayant Patel refused to entertain the plea saying there was ‘no urgency’, asking the policemen to approach the court on May 12. Ishrat Jahan, along with three others — Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar—was killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004 in a police encounter.

The policemen said they too were apprehensive that SIT would arrest them, stating that the SIT was virtually a one-man team of IPS officer Satish Verma.

When Nirupman Nanavati, counsel for IPS officer GL Singhal and 13 other policemen, raised the point of anticipated arrested, Justice Patel asked him to file an application in the Registry and said he would hear the case when the application came to him via the Registry.

The lawyers later filed an in the registry. The case is likely to come up for hearing in couple of days before a bench of justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari. In his petition, Singhal said “by passing order on April 21, this court handed over the investigation of the present case to one-member SIT whose apparent interest is to falsely implicate the applicants in the present case. It is prejudicial to the future interests of applicants.”

The application said that Verma was trying to threaten the police constables to give statements against police constables. Three constables, Vijay Mishra, Shiv Singh and Moti Desai have lodged complaints against Verma.

The application also alleged infighting between senior police officers. “Verma is acting either at the behest of or in connivance with senior IPS officers who like Verma have personal grudges for reasons best known to them. The applicants also believe that on account of serious groupism and in-fighting between senior ranked IPS officers, the applicants are being victimised.”

Earlier, Ishrat’s mother, a resident of Mumbra in Thane too sought a CBI probe in the case but the case was then handed over to a three-member SIT.

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