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Ishrat case: Rajendra Kumar not to be named in chargesheet

Ishrat case: Rajendra Kumar not to be named in chargesheet

New Delhi: Special Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajendra Kumar will not be named in the first charge sheet to be filed by CBI on July 4 as the agency will be seeking more time from court to probe the conspiracy angle in the fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and others.

"We have promised the Gujarat High Court that we will file a charge sheet on July 4 in this case and we will maintain our time limit. We will file a preliminary charge sheet," CBI Director Ranjit Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of an Interpol conference in New Delhi.

The case pertains to killing of four people including 19-year-old Ishrat from Mumbra and the allegation is that the four were in detention of Gujarat Police before they were killed in a stage-managed encounter in 2004.

CBI was entrusted with the investigations of the case by the Gujarat High Court and the agency managed to get one of the accused as an approver in the case, who named Kumar, a 1979 batch IPS officer posted as Joint Director of Intelligence Bureau in Ahmedabad at that time.

The sources in the agency will seek more time from the court under 173 Criminal Procedure Code to probe conspiracy angle in the case. The sources declined that CBI required any sanction to prosecute Kumar and said his role was being further probed in the case and that he may be called for questioning again. The senior Intelligence Bureau officer will retire on July 31 this year.

Sinha said, "We have asked the Home Ministry and Maharashtra government to provide security to our officers probing the case."

His remarks come in the backdrop of reports that the agency's Nagpur-based Superintendent of Police, Sandeep Madhukar Tamgadge, an IPS officer of 2001 batch from Nagaland cadre, has been receiving threats.

The Director refused to divulge further details of the investigation and the contents of the charge sheet as to how many people will be named in it but the sources said the first charge sheet will carry names of the policemen who had carried out the encounter.

In the backdrop of these developments, Directors of the CBI and Intelligence Bureau Asif Ibrahim met the then Home Secretary R K Singh during which it was decided that adequate precaution will be taken during the questioning of Kumar. Kumar, who has been handling sensitive departments within the Intelligence Bureau, was later called to Ahmedabad for questioning where he had claimed that he did not remember finer details pertaining to the case.

CBI was also looking for the then Joint Commissioner of Police (Ahmedabad) P P Pandey, who has been absconding ever since the agency called him for questioning. In the Gujarat High Court, CBI counsel alleged that Pandey, a 1982 batch IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre, was the "mastermind" behind the whole encounter as he received inputs, passed it to his subordinates and was in total control of operation. "He actually acted as Rambo," the counsel had alleged in the court while opposing Pandey's plea for quashing of CBI's FIR.

Pandey was heading the crime branch when Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in the encounter near here on June 15, 2004.


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