STF receives applications from former DGP Sreekumar, Shabnam Hashmi

Ex-top cop alleges encounters took place due to Modi's 'policy of elimination'.

The Special Task Force (STF) formed to probe into 16 encounters that took place in the state after 2002 has received applications from eight people, including a retired DGP, who have claimed to know about these encounters. Justice (retd) H S Bedi, who heads the STF, is arriving here this week and will review these applications for a hearing.

The Supreme Court had order the state government to form a monitoring committee and STF on a petition by poet Javed Akhtar and senior journalist B G Verghese filed in 2007, requesting investigation of all the encounters reported in Gujarat after 2002.

Among those who have sent applications are retired DGP R B Sreekumar and activist Shabnam Hashmi, besides the family members of those killed in these police encounters.

"These applicants have maintained that these encounters were not genuine and the victims were killed by police officers for various reasons for benefits or reasons other than mentioned in their duty as policemen," a senior STF member told The Indian Express.

The families have responded to public notices issued by the STF a few months ago to furnish statements and present facts or allegations before the STF. They have stated that the victims were goons and "trusted" police informers who were shot dead after the police's needs were over.

According to the application of Sreekumar, a copy of which is with this paper, the encounters took place as per Chief Minister Narendra Modi's "policy of elimination".

Sreekumar has claimed that the then state chief secretary in 2002, Subba Rao, had told him several times that the "CM Modi believes in policy of elimination that is based on situational logic".

Sreekumar has claimed that at a meeting held by the CM in 2002, Subbarao told him that anyone found disturbing events like Rath Yatra should be eliminated.

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