Ishrat Jahan case: CBI team in J&K to get info on victims

ISHRAT

A CBI team headed by a joint director is in Jammu and Kashmir to ascertain the nationality of Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali, killed with Ishrat Jahan and Javed Sheikh in a "fake" encounter in Gujarat on June 15, 2004.

The agency has announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for information on the two. Gujarat Police said Johar and Ali were Pakistani nationals out to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi but the CBI believes they were Indians.

It questioned an FIR registered soon after the encounter mentioning names and addresses of the duo. "How is it possible that Gujarat Police knew the two were from Pakistan?" said a senior CBI officer.

The agency is conducting field verification of those reported missing from the valley 2004 onwards and has sought J&K Police help.

Meanwhile, the ministry of home affairs has agreed to share with the CBI details of two affidavits filed in the case by the Centre in 2009. Its initially reluctance had forced the agency to issue the threat of moving Gujarat High Court. The CBI suspects the first affidavit filed in August 2009 opposing its probe was drafted at the instance of Intelligence Bureau special director Rajender Kumar, who is likely to be chargesheeted in the case.

The MHA decision comes a day before Kumar retires. Tuesday, CBI director Ranjit Sinha chaired a high-level meeting. At the meeting that lasted more than 3 hours a senior MHA official showed file notings of the affidavits. The CBI will file its first supplementary chargesheet in the case before August 15 naming Kumar and three other IB officers.

Sources said the CBI was given copies of the file notings by MHA with the promise that certified copies would be made available later.

Former MHA employee R V S Mani had claimed during questioning the affidavits were drafted with IB inputs. Mani later retracted the claim and accused the CBI of "coercion".

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