ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Murder or Mere Aberration?

Planned extrajudicial killings make a national Hindutva hero!

The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) charge sheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, filed on 3 July at the Gujarat High Court, did not name the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as one of the conspirators. With general elections just 10 months away, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its prime ministerial candidate must surely have heaved a sigh of temporary relief. But they would still be on tenterhooks, expecting the CBI to link Narendra Modi with the other conspirators in a supplementary charge sheet later on, for the evidence now seems to be at hand.

There is an annexure to the charge sheet with a statement by a deputy superintendent of police of the crime branch, sworn before an additional judicial magistrate, about a conversation that he heard hours before the cold-blooded murder of Ishrat Jahan and three others, wherein D G Vanzara, one of the main conspirators, confirmed that he had the approval of the chief minister and the then minister of state for home, Amit Shah. Further, according to the CBI, an officer of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) then posted in Gandhinagar was also a part of the conspiracy and, indeed, the whole operation – the cold-blooded murders and the attempt to present the action as a real encounter on 15 June 2004 when four “terrorists” were supposedly on their way to assassinate Modi. As of now though, the IB officer, Rajinder Kumar, also does not figure as part of the accused; he too will presumably be named in a supplementary charge sheet that might follow.

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