We have asked the Home ministry to provide security to our officers probing the case ~ Ranjit Sinha
press trust of india
New Delhi, 1 July
Special Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajendra Kumar will not be named in the first charge-sheet to be filed by the CBI on 4 July as the agency will be seeking more time from court to probe the conspiracy angle in the fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and others.
“We have promised Gujarat High Court that we will file a charge-sheet on 4 July in this case and we will maintain our time limit. We will file a preliminary charge-sheet,” CBI director Ranjit Sinha said on the sidelines of an Interpol conference.
The case pertains to killing of four people, including 19-year-old Ishrat from Mumbra, and the allegation is that the four were in detention of Gujarat police before they were killed in a stage-managed encounter in 2004. The CBI was entrusted with the investigations of the case by Gujarat High Court and the agency managed to get one of the accused as an approver in the case, who named Mr Kumar, a 1979 batch IPS officer posted as joint director of Intelligence Bureau in Ahmedabad at that time.
The sources in the agency will seek more time from the court under 173 Criminal Procedure Code to probe conspiracy angle in the case.
They declined that the CBI required any sanction to prosecute Mr Kumar and said his role was being further probed in the case and that he may be called for questioning again. The senior Intelligence Bureau officer will retire on 31 July this year.
Mr Sinha said: “We have asked the Home Ministry and the Maharashtra government to provide security to our officers probing the case.”
His remarks come in the backdrop of reports that the agency’s Nagpur-based Superintendent of Police, Sandeep Madhukar Tamgadge, an IPS officer of 2001 batch from Nagaland cadre, has been receiving threats.
The director refused to divulge further details of the investigation and the contents of the charge sheet as to how many people will be named in it but the sources said the first charge sheet will carry names of the policemen who had carried out the encounter.
In the backdrop of these developments, the CBI director and director of Intelligence Bureau Asif Ibrahim met the then home secretary R K Singh during which it was decided that adequate precaution will be taken during the questioning of Mr Kumar.
Mr Kumar, who has been handling sensitive departments within the Intelligence Bureau, was later called to Ahmedabad for questioning where he had said he did not remember finer details pertaining to the case.
The CBI was also looking for the then Joint Commissioner of Police (Ahmedabad) P P Pandey, who has been absconding ever since the agency called him for questioning.
In Gujarat High Court, CBI counsel alleged that Mr Pandey, a 1982 batch IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre, was the “mastermind” behind the whole encounter as he received inputs, passed it to his subordinates and was in total control of operation. “He actually acted as Rambo,” the counsel had alleged in the court while opposing Mr Pandey’s plea for quashing of CBI’s FIR.
Mr Pandey was heading the crime branch when the alleged fake encounter took place.