AHMEDABAD: Union minister Kapil Sibal raked up alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan on Monday to hit out at Narendra Modi saying the BJP’s PM nominee and Amit Shah were being “shielded” despite existence of “clinching” evidence to arrest them.
“I want to ask who is shielding Modi and Shah when, according lawyers like us, there is clinching evidence to arrest them in the case of fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others,” Sibal told reporters here.
The hard-hitting attack by Sibal came on the last day of campaigning for the single-phase polls in Gujarat to be held on April 30.
Joining Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other leaders in attacking Modi’s development model, Sibal said, “… Many models are being talked about in the country now, but this is an encounter model of Gujarat.”
Elaborating about “clinching evidence” Sibal said, “There are call records of talk between accused police officer DG Vanzara and the then minister of state for home Amit Shah at the time of encounter and before the encounter that took place on June 15, 2004.
“There are statements of police officers under CrPC 164 pointing fingers at them,” the minister said.
Quoting from resignation letter of Vanzara, Sibal said, “Vanzara has said that ‘being field officers, they have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government’.”
“Clearly, all this could not have happened without Modi’s knowledge,” he alleged.
“All the pieces have now fallen into place. The highest authority in the state, from the evidence as disclosed, now needs to answer. Courts need to stand up for human rights and deal swiftly against those who, through fake encounters, eliminated people,” Sibal said.
Responding to a query that whether the CBI which works under the Central government is protecting Modi and Shah from arrest, Sibal said, “CBI is not working under the Central government”.
CBI, investigating the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others, has not included any political leaders in chargesheets filed by it but has charged police and IB officers for murder and criminal conspiracy among other things.
When asked if any top Congress leader in Central government is “soft” on Modi and Shah and is instrumental in keeping them out of the CBI chargesheet, Sibal replied in the negative.
On the snooping controversy, Sibal said his government will appoint a judge to probe the incident before May 16.
When his attention is drawn to reports in media that some retired judges have declined to head the commission appointed by Centre to conduct inquiry into alleged snooping of a woman architect in Gujarat, Sibal said,”I do not believe in newspaper reports … Why should I believe in newspaper reports?
On the issue of land dealings of Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra which the BJP has alleged to be dubious, Sibal said, “They are levelling these allegations for the last two years … Let them conduct inquiry into the issue”.
Interestingly, Sibal had earlier said Narendra Modi was a “potential accused” in the Tulsiram Prajapati murder case and sought interrogation by CBI. The BJP had rubbished his allegations then.