The CBI on Friday said the focus of its probe into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case was on the conspiracy angle and not on the inputs from the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
As part of its ongoing probe into the case, the CBI is also investigating whether IPS officer Rajender Kumar, currently the special director of the IB, had any role in the conspiracy that led to the fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan in 2004.
Sources in the CBI confirmed that the agency’s probe was not revolved around the genuineness of the IB input to the police. “The agency is probing the entire criminal conspiracy behind the fake encounter case,” they said. The CBI, which might finalise its chargesheet in the case by June end, now wants to quiz Rajender for the second time, before filing the chargesheet.
In the first round of questioning, Rajender, who was at the state intelligence bureau in 2004, had told the agency that input given by him regarding the threat to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from terror groups like the LeT was genuine to the best of his knowledge. He had also made it clear that passing on an input to the police was not an invitation for them to carry out encounters.
The CBI had then suspected that the officer’s answers were ‘diversionary’ and hence summoned him again on June 14. It created a standoff between the agency and IB, forcing the Union Mministry of Home Affairs to call a meeting of CBI chief Ranjit Sinha and IB chief Asif Ibrahim on Thursday.
While Ranjit maintained that the CBI had enough evidence with it to summon Rajender for questioning, Ibrahim asked the agency to maintain confidentiality regarding the probe.
Meanwhile, Rajender has sought an exemption from the CBI from appearing before it for questioning till Tuesday. In all likelihood, the agency might question him next week. In its appeal filed before the Gujarat High Court, the CBI has requested that IPS officer Satish Verma be allowed to assist the agency in the probe till June 30.
The Ishrat Jahan fake encounter was carried out on June 15, 2004.