NATIONAL NEWS

Hearing in discharge plea of Vanzara ends

Ishrat Jahan case

Ahmedabad, July 1: Hearing in a discharge petition filed by former Gujarat IPS official D.G. Vanzara, who is a key accused in the sensational 2004 Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, concluded at a Special CBI Court here on Saturday. In June 2004, Mumbai-based 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan and three others — her friend Javed alias Pranesh, along with two Pakistani nationals Zeeshan Johar and Amzad Ali Rana — were gunned down by a team of Vanzara’s men in an alleged gun battle in Ahmedabad. It was claimed that Ishrat and her friends were terrorists who had come to Gujarat with an intention to assassinate then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Vanzara, who is alleged to have masterminded the alleged encounter by a joint team of Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials, is currently out on bail. In his discharge plea, Vanzara had stated that the chargesheet filed against him was “concocted” and that there was no prosecutable evidence against him. He also said that the testimony of witnesses could not be believed as some of them were accused in the case earlier. He had also claimed that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was once seeking to arrest then Chief Minister Modi and Minister of State for Home Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, though “fortunately” it did not happen. Vanzara in his submission had also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was secretly interrogated by the investigating officer in the case when he was the Chief Minister, a claim denied by the CBI. (IANS)