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Heartbroken, won’t participate in court proceedings: Ishrat mother

Ishrat and three others were killed in an encounter by the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch. It was alleged that they were Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives aiming to kill then chief minister Narendra Modi.

Shamima Kauser, the mother of Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter by Gujarat Police in 2004, on Tuesday submitted a letter to the CBI court that she was “heartbroken” by the “culture of impunity”, and that she would no longer participate in court proceedings as she had “lost the will to fight”.

Shamima’s lawyer Shamshad Pathan said the court of Special CBI Judge R K Chudawala has accepted the letter.

Ishrat and three others were killed in an encounter by the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch. It was alleged that they were Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives aiming to kill then chief minister Narendra Modi.

Shamima had been appearing in court and challenging the discharge pleas moved by retired IPS officers D G Vanzara and N K Amin. However, the CBI court in May dropped all charges against both, after the prosecuting agency said it did not get sanction to prosecute them. In July, the CBI accepted the court order while indicating that it would not challenge it in a higher forum. Another retired IPS officer, P P Pandey, was discharged in the case in February 2018.

Onus now on CBI

Shamima Kauser’s withdrawal leaves the onus on the CBI to see the case to its conclusion. The agency, at the time of adjudication of discharge pleas of D G Vanzara and N K Amin, had submitted that they would leave it to the court. The other four accused, who have filed discharge pleas, will be unopposed by Shamima, leaving the CBI to oppose it, if they choose to.

“I am heartbroken and my spirit shattered, at the perpetuation of this culture of impunity. Thus, I have instructed my counsel advocate Vrinda Grover, that presently I have lost my will to fight, and can no longer participate in the proceedings before the CBI court… it is the job of the CBI to prosecute the 11 accused police officials and others and to secure complete justice and vindicate the truth of my murdered daughter,” Shamima wrote. “I found myself seeking the prosecution and punishment of some very powerful police officers of the state, who were in service and enjoyed the patronage of the state. In fact, the State of Gujarat is on record as having supported the encounter killing of my daughter… all the accused including the police officials are on bail. Some of them are reinstated by the Gujarat government…” she wrote.

“I know my daughter was murdered as a result of criminal conspiracy. I know that my daughter deserves justice, and that this culture of impunity needs to be eradicated… This, however, cannot be my battle alone. It is now up to the CBI to see that the guilty are prosecuted and punished…” she added.

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