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CBI probe demanded in another Gujarat shootout case

Friday April 01, 2011 10:20:26 PM, IANS

Gandhinagar: After the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Ishrat Jahan staged shoot-out cases, the Gujarat Police Friday found itself in hot water in the Sadiq Jamal case as well following a plea in the high court for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the case.

A single judge bench of Justice M.R. Shah is hearing a plea of Shabbir Jamal Mehtar, brother of alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Sadiq Jamal Mehtar, contending Sadiq was gunned down by police and a proper investigation should be initiated in the case.

Shabbir's counsel Mukul Sinha sought a probe into the alleged staged shoot-out by the CBI, submitting that the police officials of Gujarat and Maharashtra are involved in the case and an independent agency such as CBI should be entrusted with the investigation.

Sinha contended that the police version that Sadiq was killed when they fired at him in self defence, was not "promising".

"The proposition and manner in which he is shown to be shot are at two extremes," he argued.

Sinha said that even if the allegations and the theory of police were right or wrong, investigations were required in the case.

He further argued that a total of seven bullets were fired at Sadiq but every bullet shown to be fired from the front was an impossible shot. "It is practically impossible since the trajectory of the bullet is going down. This is possible only when it is fired at a person who is kneeling before you," Sinha said, claiming there are "reasons to believe that Sadiq was begging for his life when he was killed."

Citing the forensic report and a reconstruction of the firing scene, he argued that even scientific evidence shows that the gun powder was found from the skin and shirt sent for the forensic tests. "This can only be possible when some one is shot from a very close range," Sinha contended.

At this juncture, the judge stopped Sinha, noting details of his submissions at this stage would not be in the interest of the case as some of the policemen against whom the allegations were made were present in the court. "This is not in your interest. It would spoil the case of the either side," Justice Shah said.

After Sinha's arguments, government counsel Prakash Jani contended the petitioner, whose brother was killed Jan 13,, 2003 had not raised the issue until 2007 and this aspect should also be considered.

The case's next hearing is April 6 when Jani will continue his arguments.

Sadiq was killed in 2003, with the Crime Branch officers who shot him dead, claiming he had opened fire at them and they fired back in self-defence. However, no policeman was injured in the incident while Jamal's body was found with three bullets in the head and four in the chest.

According to police, Jamal had conspired to kill Bharatiya Janata Party leaders L.K. Advani (then the deputy prime minister), Chief Minister Narendra Modi and some Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders.

Mumbai-based journalist, Ketan Tirodkar however had claimed before a Mumbai court that the Jamal was handed over by Mumbai Police's "encounter specialist" Daya Nayak to the Gujarat Police "just to oblige a top Gujarat politician".





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