Inspector, ex-DSP in CBI custody
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A special CBI magisterial court on Sunday sent senior police officers Tarun Barot and Bharat Patel to one-day custody of the CBI in connection with the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case. The probe agency had sought 14 days' remand of the two who were arrested on Saturday.
DSP Barot was lodged in jail in connection with the Sadiq Jamal encounter case while Patel, an inspector in the Special Operations Group in Gandhinagar district, had carried out some of the investigation in the case after the encounter in 2004. So far, the CBI has arrested four police officers in the case. The other two are IPS officer G L Singhal and retired DSP J G Parmar.
Ishrat, Javed Gulam Shaikh and two others — Amjad Ali Rana and Jishan Johar — were killed by the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch on June 15, 2004. The DCB had claimed the four were LeT operatives on a mission to kill CM Narendra Modi. However, a SIT formed by Gujarat HC concluded the encounter was "not genuine".
In its remand application, the CBI called the encounter "false" and that Barot and Patel played active roles in securing the illegal custody of two of the four shot dead by the DCB. It stated that the two know about the source of weapons that were planted on the deceased and that their custodial interrogation was necessary.
Patel's counsel Brijrajsinh Jhala said that Patel had done subsequent investigation in the case and it has been verified even by the SIT. Barot's counsel D R Bhatt argued on similar lines and added that the officers were being mistreated in CBI custody to turn witnesses. When magistrate A U Jujara asked Patel and Barot about mistreatment, Patel said prior to his arrest, he was questioned for over 11 hours till 2.30 am and not allowed to drink water.
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