October 1, 2009
IB officer fed Vanjara with ‘inputs’ on Ishrat
By D. P. Bhattacharya in Ahmedabad
THE Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case is getting murkier with former police officers and human rights groups questioning the role of an Intelligence Bureau official in the extra- judicial killings in Gujarat post- October 2002.
This comes in the backdrop of the Union government filing a second affidavit on Tuesday.
It seems the first affidavit filed in court on August 6 and the alleged fake encounter on June 15, 2004, are both based on the same officer’s intelligence reports.
Gujarat government spokesperson Jai Narayan Vyas said the first affidavit was based on the intelligence report of Rajendra Kumar, who was then central Intelligence Bureau’s joint director in- charge of the state between late 2001 and early 2005.
The Union government filed an affidavit in Gujarat High Court on August 6, justifying the killing of Ishrat, Javed Ghulam Mahammad Sheikh and two others. It cited intelligence inputs linking them to the Lashkar- e- Tayyeba. Vyas said the affidavit was based on the intelligence report sent by Kumar from Gujarat.
“As chief of the IB in the state, he was expected to share his actionable intelligence with the DGP or at best with the
commissioners of police. Rajendra Kumar used to frequently visit Ahmedabad crime branch office at Gaekwad Haveli to meet DG Vanjara, who was the chief of the branch,” former Gujarat DGP R. B. Shreekumar said.
The first affidavit, that has now been withdrawn and revised, relied entirely on intelligence inputs. “ The Union government in 2004 had received specific inputs to suggest that Lashkar- e- Tayyeba had been planning to carry out terrorist activities in various parts of the country, including Gujarat. … it came to the notice of agencies
of the Union government that Javed was in regular touch with LeT operatives,” the first affidavit states.
Vanjara and his deputies began their encounter with the terrorists based on “ intelligence inputs” only after October 2002. At least, eight persons were eliminated between October 2002 and June 2004 in four encounters in Ahmedabad alone.
It is now alleged that Kumar had passed the intelligence inputs to Vanjara.
There were allegations that Kumar became close to Narendra Modi when the former was posted in Chandigarh. Modi was then the BJP’s Punjab in- charge.
The home ministry now has distanced itself from the first affidavit. “ Such inputs do not constitute conclusive proof and it is for the state government to act on them,” the new affidavit said.