New Delhi: Former IPS officer D.G. Vanzara, one of the key accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, has filed a discharge application before the special CBI court.
His application comes two weeks after a CBI court in Ahmedabad discharged former Gujarat DGP P.P. Pandey in the case. Vanzara has sought discharge on the grounds of parity with Pandey, Indian Express reported.
Vanzara has claimed in his petition that the fake encounter case is “politically motivated… with a view to topple the democratically-elected (Gujarat) government, (and the) entire plot appears to have been deployed by the then central government (led by the UPA)…”, according to the newspaper.
He has also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “interrogated” in relation to the case. However, a senior police officer who is involved in the investigation told Indian Express that this is a “complete lie”.
Ishrat Jahan, a teenaged woman from Mumbra, was killed in June 2004 by the Gujarat police in an ‘encounter’ along with three other men. A magisterial enquiry, SIT probe and CBI investigation subsequently all concluded that this was a fake encounter and that the police claim of having fired on her in ‘self-defence’ was a lie. In July 2013, almost a decade after the fake encounter, a chargesheet was filed against seven Gujarat police officials including Pandey and Vanzara, and (in a supplementary chargesheet in February 2014) four IB officials for the unlawful killings, abduction, criminal conspiracy etc.
Pandey was the first accused to be discharged in the case. Both the CBI and Ishrat Jahan’s mother Shamima Kauser had opposed his discharge. Two of the four IB officers accused in the fake encounter case – Rajeev Wankhede and Tushar Mittal – have also asked to be discharged, challenging the special CBI court order which took cognisance of a supplementary chargesheet and issued summons for their appearance.