Ishrat case: Gujarat DGP asks state police to trace Pandey

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pp pandeyAhmedabad, 9 Aug (PTI): The Gujarat DGP has asked all district Superintendents of Police as well as city police commissioners to help the CBI trace Additional DGP (Crime) P P Pandey, who has been named as one of the main accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter killing case, and also declared as an absconder by the local court.

“Two days back, the CBI requested us to help them trace P P Pandey after he went missing suddenly. Subsequently, we sent letters to all district Superintendents of Police and Police Commissioners asking them to keep a vigil to trace him,” Gujarat Police Chief Amitabh Pathak told PTI today.

In his letter to all district and city police chiefs, the Gujarat state DGP directed them to increase vigil at all locations and take action in accordance with the law if they spot Pandey.

He has been absconding since April this year and a CBI special court also declared him “proclaimed absconder”.

He had resurfaced before the trial court on July 29, after the Supreme Court directed him to be present before the concerned court while rejecting his petition to quash the FIR against him.

Pandey had appeared before the court on a stretcher, directly from a local private hospital, where he was admitted after he complained of chest pain and other complications.

For a few days he attended court in a wheelchair, but suddenly went missing after his applications for exemption from appearance in the trial court and seeking anticipatory bail were rejected by the CBI court here on Wednesday.

On Thursday last, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of the CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant for Pandey’s arrest and the high court had also rejected his petition challenging the CBI court’s ruling of denying him anticipatory bail.

Pandey then approached the Supreme court. A division bench of the apex court, though agreed to hear his appeal on coming Monday, refused to grant interim protection from being arrested by the CBI.

The 1982-batch IPS officer, Pandey was Ahmedabad’s Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), when Ishrat, a Mumbai-based student, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were gunned down on June 15, 2004, near here.

Later, the police claimed that the four were “terrorists” on a mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

However, according to the CBI’s charge sheet filed last month, the encounter, a joint operation by the Gujarat Police and the Intelligence Bureau, was fake and stage managed.

Seven Gujarat policemen, including Pandey, have been named as accused and charged with murder and criminal conspiracy, among others.

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