The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has turned down request from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute four Intelligence Bureau officials, including its former Special Director Rajender Kumar, in connection with the fake encounter operation that killed college student Ishrat Jahan, 19, and three others.
The ministry is learned to have denied the CBI, the agency investigating the fake encounter operation carried out in 2004 by Gujarat Police, claiming the four killed, including Ishrat Jahan, were “terrorists” planning to kill the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
The CBI and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the case claimed that the Gujarat police staged the encounter and the killings were carried out in cold blood.
The CBI had accused Rajinder Kumar, who was in charge of the IB operations in Gujarat at that time, of murder and criminal conspiracy and also booked him under Arms Act.
The Gujarat Police had claimed that their action had been taken on basis of the information provided by the Intelligence Bureau.
According to the CBI, Rajinder Kumar was not only involved in the conspiracy, but had also provided the weapons used by the Gujarat police to kill the four persons. He had also provided the AK-56 rifle that was planted at the scene, near the victims, to portray them as terrorists, the investigation agency alleged.
The Intelligence Bureau said, though its officers had alerted the Gujarat police to the possibility that Ishrat and the others could be affiliated to the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, its officers did not authorise or participate in the killing.
The police team that carried out the fake encounter was led by the then Deputy Commissioner of Gujarat Police Dhananjay G. Vanzara, who was later jailed for involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter killing.