Ishrat encounter: Another cop held

The CBI arrested one more policeman late on Tuesday night in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

Anaju Chaudhary, a commando with State Reserve Police Force, was arrested here late night, making him the fifth policeman to be taken into custody in the nine-year-old case. He was then deputed to protect Tarun Barot, a suspended deputy superintendent of police (DySP) who too has been arrested.

Chaudhary, at present posted at the office of Gujarat Minister of State for Home in Gandhinagar, has been booked for murder, conspiracy, illegal detention and abduction besides under relevant sections of the Arms Act, CBI sources said.

On Wednesday, he was also produced before the Special CBI Court, which sent him in CBI custody till March 4, rejecting the Central agency's plea for 14-day remand.

Explaining Chaudhary's role in the encounter, CBI said he had fired 10 rounds from his service weapon at the order of IPS officer G L Singhal, first police officer to be arrested in the case, but had not submitted the empty cartridges.

"We suspect he was also involved in the conspiracy of the fake encounter and had not cooperated during his questioning earlier," CBI claimed in its remand plea.

Ishrat, a 19-year-old student, along with Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, were killed in an encounter with the police on June 15, 2004 on the city's outskirts. Gujarat Police had then claimed all four were terrorists out to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Singhal's Remand: order reserved

Ahmedabad: A Special CBI Sessions Court Wednesday reserved its order on a CBI revision application that demanded 14 days remand of IPS officer, G L Singhal, and retired police officer, J G Parmar. Both, Singhal and Parmar, are accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case. Earlier, the special CBI magisterial court had turned down CBI's petition seeking the two's remand for 14 days. The sessions court has kept its order reserved till March 1.

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