Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley’s explosive disclosure about Gujarat’s controversial Ishrat Jahan encounter case has triggered a new debate in Indian polity.
Headley said that Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old student who was killed in an encounter in Gujarat in 2004, was an LeT operative.
Jahan, along with three other men, were shot and killed in an encounter in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, by the Crime Branch of the Gujarat Police.
The Ishrat Jahan encounter case is an ongoing criminal case in the Gujarat , took place on 15 June 2004, and involved encounter killings of Ishrat Jahan Raza, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbra, Maharashtra, and three men: Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Gulam Sheikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar having links to terrorists. Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch claimed that all four were terrorists involved in a plot to kill Narendra Modi.
However Headly confirmed that Ishrat Jahan was a suicide bomber working for LeT
Ishrat Jahan’s sister Musarrat Jahan has outrightly rejected the revelation made by Pakistani American terrorist David Coleman Headley that her sister was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist.
“My sister was innocent,” said Musarrat
She reiterated that Ishrat Jahan’s death was part of a large conspiracy with big names involved in the alleged fake encounter.
The Special Investigation Team probing the Ishrat Jahan case had filed in the final report told the Gujarat High Court that the encounter was not genuine.
Controversial ex-IPS officer D G Vanzara, an accused in the fake encounter cases of Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin Sheikh, walked out of the Sabarmati Central Jail on February 18,2015 after spending almost seven and half years in prison.
June 15, 2004: Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in a police encounter in the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The Ahmedabad police term them as members of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba on a mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
September 2009: Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate SP Tamang called the encounter fake.
August 2010: The Gujarat High Court asked the Supreme Court-appointed SIT headed by former CBI director RK Raghavan (investigating the Gujarat riots) to take up the case.
September 2010: The Gujarat High Court constituted a new SIT after the Raghavan-headed SIT expressed its inability to undertake the probe.
November 2010: The Supreme Court rejected the Gujarat government’s plea challenging the High Court order to form the new SIT.
December 2010: The three-member SIT began investigation in the case and started recording statements of the witnesses, police officials involved.
January 28, 2011: SIT member Satish Varma filed an affidavit stating that the encounter was a fake one. He also accused other two members of not allowing the probe to be done in an unbiased manner.
April 8, 2011: The Gujarat High Court division bench warned the state authorities that the court will hand over the probe to central agencies like CBI or NIA if the state does not allow SIT to probe without hindrance