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Ishrat Jahan family alleges threat; writes to Centre for security

Ishrat Jahan family alleges threat; writes to Centre for security

Mumbai: The family members of Ishrat Jahan, the 19-year-old college student killed by Gujarat police in a "fake" encounter in 2004, claimed threat to their lives and wrote to the Centre demanding adequate security.

Ishrat's mother Shamima Kauser, through her lawyer, wrote to Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami, claiming "grave threat to life, liberty and security" to her, her children as well as Rauf Lala and Mohinuddin Ismail Sayed, who have been supporting her fight for justice, and sought protection.

In New Delhi, according to official sources, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has instructed that the family's request should be looked into at the earliest.

Nine years after Ishrat (19), whose family resides in Mumbra in adjoining Thane, and three others were gunned down near Ahmedabad, the CBI last week chargesheeted seven Gujarat police officers for the "fake" encounter.

Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Ishrat's sister Mushrat said, "My family and those supporting us are facing threat to their lives. Those who don't want us to fight for justice are terrorising us."

Explaining further, she said, "a number of policemen were yesterday deployed outside our building. However, at about 2.30 AM today, a group of men, claiming to be policemen, knocked at our door and sought to know if we are safe. They kept banging on the door and left after whispering among themselves. It was clear they had come to harm us." "This morning, when we asked the Mumbra Police if they had sent anybody to our house last night, the cops replied in the negative," Mushrat claimed.

Citing another incident, Ishrat's uncle Rauf Lala said he and his family members were returning home in a car from the airport on the intervening night of June 18-19 when two armed men attacked the vehicle and broke its rear glass.

"The attackers were nabbed by a crowd and taken to Mumbra police station. A country made firearm was recovered from them. It was clear that the accused fired at the vehicle. But the police diluted the crime, registered a road accident case and let off the two," he said.

An inquiry later revealed that one of the attackers, Firoz Kalia, was a contract killer, Rauf Lala said.

He said when they had gone to attend a programme in Haryana a vehicle had followed them for nearly 30 km.

Besides Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in the alleged fake encounter with the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

CBI, which is probing the case, has alleged in its charge sheet that the encounter was stagemanaged and booked seven officials of the Gujarat crime branch for the killings.

Filing its first charge sheet in the case, the CBI described the encounter as a joint operation by Gujarat police and the Intelligence Bureau, and said the role of its Special Director Rajinder Kumar and three other officers was still being probed.

Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has referred to Law Ministry the request of CBI seeking files from it related to contradictory affidavits on the antecedents of Ishrat submitted in the Gujarat High Court.

In the affidavit filed on August 6, 2009, Ishrat and three others were termed as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists while in the affidavit filed on September 30, 2009, it claimed that there was no conclusive evidence to suggest she was a terrorist.


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