Ahmedabad: D.G. Vanzara, a former IPS officer and an accused in the Ishrat Jahan case, said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was secretly interrogated by the investigating officer.
In his discharge application filed in the special CBI court in Ahmedabad, Vanzara said Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat, was interrogated in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, but “such material was not placed on record of this case". This proves that “the entire material on record of this case is nothing but a false story", he said.
“The fact also remains that the then CM and present Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was also called by the IO and was interrogated. However, such material is not placed on record of this case. But the fact remains that it was the intention on part of the then investigating team, which included one Mr Satish Verma, IPS, was anyhow on mission so as to reach the then CM of the state and to rope him in as the accused in this case, and for that purpose the story of the whole charge sheet is concocted and created," Vanzara said in his application.
“Therefore the entire material on record of this case is nothing but a false and got up story, but is not the prosecutable evidence against the present applicant," Vanzara said.
The special CBI judge J.K. Pandya issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), seeking its response by 28 March to Vanzara’s plea seeking discharge.
Vanzara also pleaded parity as a ground, since former in-charge DGP of Gujarat P.P. Pandey, a co-accused, was discharged by the same court three weeks ago.
Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbra near Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an alleged fake encounter with police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on 15 June 2004. The Gujarat police had claimed the four had links with terrorist organizations, and wanted to kill Modi. But a special investigating team set up by the Gujarat high court concluded that it was a fake encounter.
The Gujarat high court then transferred the case to CBI. IPS officer Satish Verma was part of the SIT, and also assisted the CBI in its probe later.
In the first chargesheet filed in 2013, CBI had named seven Gujarat police officers, including IPS officers P.P. Pandey, D.G. Vanzara and G.L. Singhal for kidnapping, murder and conspiracy. CBI also named four Intelligence Bureau officials, including IB’s the then special director Rajinder Kumar and officer M.S. Sinha, in a supplementary chargesheet.
The sanction for their prosecution from the Centre is still awaited.
Vanzara, a former deputy inspector general of police, was last year discharged in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter cases.