An accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case and another who was recently discharged in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh case were among the six IPS officers promoted by the Gujarat government on Tuesday, 1 January, according to a notification.
GL Singhal, one of the seven police officers charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Ishrat Jahan case, has been promoted to the rank of inspector general from deputy inspector general of the Commando Training Centre in Gandhinagar.
Singhal is one of the five 2001-batch IPS officers of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) rank to be promoted to the rank of IGP and will continue to remain in his post at Commando Training Centre in Gandhinagar.
Former IPS officer DG Vanzara, former Superintendent of Police NK Amin and former Deputy Superintendent of Police Tarun Barot are among the seven accused policemen in the case. One of the accused, former DGP PP Pandey, was discharged by the special CBI court last year.
Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter Case
Ishrat, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbai, and three others were killed in an ‘encounter’ on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on 15 June 2004. Singhal was arrested in February 2013 in connection with the Ishrat Jahan case. Following his arrest, the state government suspended him from service.
A special investigation team (SIT), constituted by Gujarat High Court, had concluded that the encounter was fake, following which the case was transferred to the CBI.
According to the CBI charge sheet, Singhal who was the then Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad Crime Branch, was part of the conspiracy and was involved in the kidnapping, illegal confinement and murder of Ishrat, her friend Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, and two Pakistanis, Amjadali Rana and Zeeshan Johar in 2004.
Singhal was later granted bail after the CBI failed to file a chargesheet within 90 days. Post bail, on Singhal’s request the state government had reinstated him in May 2014 as the superintendent of police of the State Crime Records Bureau.
Singhal’ Statement to CBI
In his statement to the CBI Singhal had made it clear that he was against the draft FIR filed in 2004, which mentioned a plan to kill then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, as it was wrong. Singhal told CBI that he had interrogated Amjadali, and knew the motive was different.
He also had serious objections to killing Ishrat. In his statement Singhal claimed that he insisted on letting Ishrat go, and had promised to ensure that she would not spill the beans about this operation to anyone. However, Singhal has further claimed that DG Vanzara insisted on killing the girl and branding her as a terrorist.
Singhal had also handed to the CBI two pen drives which contained 267 voice recordings, indicating an illegal surveillance of a woman architect carried out by the Gujarat Police.
The tapes were later aired by news portals — Cobrapost and Gulail — and showed policemen intercepting telephone conversations, allegedly on the order of then Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah.
Cop Discharged in Sohrabuddin Case Promoted
Vipul Aggarwal, who was recently discharged by Bombay High Court in connection with the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case, has been promoted to the post of the joint commissioner of police (administration), Ahmedabad.
Aggarwal was reinstated in November 2014 after being granted bail in the alleged fake-encounter killings of gangster Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife, Kausar Bi, and his aide, Tulsi Prajapati. All the 38 accused in the case have been acquitted, including the 22 accused who were discharged last month.
With Inputs from PTI