‘The Sit Has To Consider Tamamg’s Conclusions’
Mukul Sinha, lawyer and convener of the Jan Sangharsh Manch, spoke to Ajit Sahi
What is the significance of Metropolitan Magistrate SP Tamang’s findings?
It is a magisterial inquiry under Section 176 of the CrPC and is independent of all police investigations. Though the Gujarat High Court has stayed the report, it can still be used, as per the High Court’s order, before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the High Court itself. The significance is in that Tamang has prima facie come to the conclusion that the encounter was fake and the SIT will have to consider these conclusions.
Did you know of Tamang’s investigation when you sought a CBI inquiry?
I hadn’t even heard of Tamang until September 3, when my other client Gopinath Pillai [father of Pranesh alias Javed, who, too, was killed along with Ishrat] came to Ahmedabad to appear before Tamang.
Why was Tamang in a hurry to give his report?
I don’t believe he was in any hurry. Such reports have to be submitted within a month. It was the state government that asked the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for a quick end to the inquiry.
What’s the basis of your claim that the encounter was fake?
The government’s claim that two of those killed with Ishrat — Amjad and Zeeshan — were Pakistanis who had infiltrated via Kashmir, travelled to Delhi, then to Pune where Javed joined them, and then to Mumbai where Ishrat joined them. The Gujarat-Maharashtra border is 300 km from Ahmedabad. Several districts fall on the way. How come the police in any of these states or districts or even the Ahmedabad Police were not on the alert for the alleged terrorists’ car? Only the Crime Branch was on alert! Why? Why were these alleged terrorists challenged only after their car entered Ahmedabad? Just 15 days earlier, Javed had travelled to Kerala in the same car with his wife and children to holiday with his father and brother’s family. Is that how terrorists act just before they want to kill a chief minister?