Gujarat: Three encounters were fake, finds probe headed by Justice Bedi

The encounter of Samir Pathan, in October 2002, was the first after the post-Godhra riots.

Gujarat: Three encounters were fake, finds probe headed by Justice Bedi

AHMEDABAD: A probe by a retired Supreme Court judge has found three encounters of Samir Khan Pathan, Haji Ismail, and Kasim Jafer as fake.

In his report submitted to the state government, retired Supreme Court judge Harjit Singh Bedi, looking into fake encounters in the state, has suggested prosecution of the accused policemen for murder.

The encounter of Samir Pathan, in October 2002, was the first after the post-Godhra riots. The police had said that Pathan had plotted to kill then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi to avenge killing of Muslims in the riots.

Among police personnel mentioned in the report are retired officials Tarun Barot and K M Vaghela, both facing trial in the Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounter case. Barot is also a key accused in Ishrat Jahan encounter.

The Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), whose officers were responsible for the encounter, was then headed by now-retired IPS D G Vanzara (accused in Ishrat’s encounter). The DCB had stated that Pathan was a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist.

In the “fake encounter” of Haji Ismail, a smuggler who came from Jamsalaya in Jamnagar, Justice Bedi has recommended criminal case against police officers K G Erda, J M Yadav, S K Shah, Parag Vyas, LB Monpara. Erda was accused in the Gulberg Society massacre case of 2002 and was later acquitted.

In the encounter of Kasim Jafer in 2006, the police had reported death due to road accident. Justice Bedi’s report found Deputy SP J M Bharwad and Constable Ganeshbhai responsible for Jafer’s death. The report notes that the duo should be prosecuted for murder.

When he was killed, Samir Pathan had already been arrested for being allegedly associated with Jaish. The police had said he had undergone terror training in Pakistan. DCB officials handed him over to K M Vaghela of Naranpura police in connection with a constable’s murder.

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