Gujarat Police killed Sadiq Jamal despite Intelligence Bureau's clean chit
Like they did in the Ishrat Jahan case of a year later, the Gujarat Police have claimed they had intelligence that Sadiq was a terrorist who planned to attack Narendra Modi and other top BJP leaders. But the CBI, which has questioned an unprecedented six IB officials in the case, alleges that its investigations have patched together a vastly different story.
The CBI probe has found that the intelligence that the Gujarat Police got on Sadiq was from three reports generated by the IB - one by a member of IB's Mumbai station Gururaj Savadatti in end October 2002, another by the IB headquarters on November 24 the same year and a third five days later by then Ahmedabad station head Rajinder Kumar, who is also being investigated in the Ishrat encounter case.
The CBI has found that these reports, which in different forms said Sadiq planned to attack Mr Modi and others, did not match his profile. The only charges ever registered against him in his hometown Bhavnagar in Gujarat were for an altercation in 1996 and an arrest for gambling in November 2002. He was released on bail the same day.
But based on the multiple IB reports, Sadiq was detained by the Mumbai Police on December 19, 2002, and grilled by the IB for about a week. Senior IB official in Mumbai Ambady Gopinathan has given a statement to the CBI saying that they couldn't find anything against Sadiq. "On the basis of the interrogation, it was concluded by SIB, Mumbai that there was no substance in the input that Sadiq had intention to cause any harm to VVIPs as alleged in the initial source report," Mr Gopinathan says. He also says that the clean chit report was sent to the IB headquarters in Delhi. Despite this, he says, on January 3, 2003, Sadiq was handed over to the Ahmedabad Crime Branch.
What followed is more baffling. Though the IB had itself given a clean chit to Sadiq and recorded on January 6 that he had been handed over to the Gujarat Police, Rajinder Kumar generated a report that Sadiq had not been apprehended yet and that efforts were on to locate him. To this, Sudhir Kumar, special director IB West, noted on the file that those efforts must continue. On January 13, Sadiq was killed by the police in a hail of bullets.
The CBI's investigation through this paper trail of reports was reportedly facilitated by IB officers coming forward to share details and expose the alleged role of their colleagues.
Is there a deeper conspiracy in the alleged fake encounters of people like Sadiq Jamal and Ishrat Jahan? Or did the Gujarat Police actually thwart multiple attempts on the life of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi? Questions that still need answers.
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