Satish Verma: The 'Sherlock Holmes' of Ishrat Jahan encounter probe
The Ishrat Jahan encounter case stands today on a strong footing because of a major contribution by one police officer - Satish Verma - the inspector general of police who claimed on Tuesday before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) that the state government planned to "wrongfully harm him" because of his disclosures in the Ishrat Jahan probe. Verma defied his colleagues in the Gujarat high court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to dig out evidence that had been pushed under the carpet in this case and proved the killings to be staged. Related: Ishrat, Javed kidnapped by IB men, says CBI
The 1986 batch IPS officer faced the brunt of the State Government since this feat, especially after he got legal clearance to assist the CBI in the probe that was to end up nailing his own colleagues in the Gujarat police. His name was suggested by petitioners in the case, Ishrat's mother Shamima Kausar and Javed Shaikh's father Gopinatha Pillai.
Verma while heading the Gujarat High Court appointed special investigation team (SIT) was the first officer who filed an affidavit in the Gujarat High Court in January 2011 terming the encounter fake. In the same petition, Verma had dropped a bombshell in the case saying that witnesses in the case were being pressurised to retract by co- SIT member Mohan Jha.
This was Verma's first tussle with the State Government where he was severely criticized and faced allegations of supporting 'a Muslim terrorist'.
However, Verma went ahead and recorded statements of some key witnesses in the case that testified Ishrat and Javed were illegally abducted from Vasad (Anand) and brought to Ahmedabad. They were later held captive in Arham farmhouse in Gandhinagar and killed early on June 15, 2004. However, his fight within the SIT added to his troubles. After Verma accused Jha of threatening witnesses to retract, he pressed for psychoanalysis of the witnesses. Related: Rajinder Kumar - the game changer