A special CBI court here on Monday granted bail to senior IPS officer G.S. Singhal, and three other senior policemen, in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case on a personal bond of Rs. 1 lakh. This follows the agency’s failure to file a charge sheet against the officer within the stipulated period of 90 days.
Apart from Mr. Singhal, three other senior police officials considered to be encounter specialists — Tarun Barot, J.G. Parmar and Bharat Patel — too were granted bail. They had also sought a default bail given that the CBI did not file the charge sheet against them within 90 days.
Mr. Singhal, a Gujarat cadre IPS officer, was arrested by the CBI in February this year in connection with the fake encounter of Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan and four others. The agency is yet to trace Gujarat ADGP P.P. Pandey, who it wants to interrogate in this case. The agency is also likely to grill D.G. Vanzara, who is behind bars in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
Ishrat Jahan, a college girl from Mumbai’s Mumbra suburb, was killed along with her friend Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh and two others, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana, on June 15, 2004. The Gujarat police had claimed that the group was affiliated to the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and was in Gujarat to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Metropolitan magistrate S.P. Tamang was the first to term these killings ‘fake encounters’ in his report.