The Central Bureau of Investigation is looking to question Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and former home minister of the state, Amit Shah who went by the code names black beard (kaali daadi) and white beard (safed daadi) in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
CBI sources tell rediff.com that they are trying to find out if Modi and Shah were aware of the encounter. The CBI has been alleging that a fake alert had been sounded by the Intelligence Bureau and passed on to the Gujarat police who in turn carried the encounter. The CBI feels that the top leadership in the government ie the Chief Minister and then Home Minister may have been informed about this.
The CBI is basing this largely on the investigation conducted on the then DGP of Gujarat Vanzara who is alleged to have told an another officer in the department that he had got a go ahead. He is alleged to have said that the go ahead has been given by white and black beard, which the investigators today allege were code names in the police for Modi and Shah respectively. The go ahead is alleged to have been given on June 13 2004 as per the CBI’s investigation.
The CBI in its status report has further alleged that Vanzara had called up Modi’s residence around 14 hours before the encounter. This call was made at 2.49 PM. It is also the case of the CBI that Vanzara had called Amit Shah’s residence at 10.57 pm which was five hours prior to the encounter. There were calls made after the encounter too, the CBI has alleged.
The CBI has been granted time to put out a chargesheet by July 2 and these new details are expected to part of it. However the CBI will just put in these details into the chargesheet but are expected to seek more time to probe this angle considering the high profile nature of the persons they allege are involved.
The CBI’s chargesheet is also likely to include the names of Rajinder Kumar, the Intelligence Bureau official who is alleged to put out this fake alert. The CBI states that Kumar had asked Vanzara as to what needs to be done of Ishrat and her accomplices who were in the custody of the police. The CBI says that the fact that they were in custody and later killed goes on to show that the encounter was a fake one. Further the CBI has also stated that there is more than one testimony of the various police officials involved to show that it was Kumar who had masterminded this entire operation. Kumar however during his questioning had denied any involvement and only said that the alert was a genuine one and the IB has no role in ordering a state police as to what ought to be done of the alert.