New Delhi, August 14: Much has been talked about the Ishrat Jahan Encounter case! While the Congress and Nationalist Congress party are alleged for using this case as a political and communal tool, more annoying for any Indian citizen, in this case, made India’s apex Intel agencies to trigger guns on each other. The Central Bureau of Investigation is trying to portray the Intelligence Bureau a culprit to release alert about the encountered terrorists in June 2004.
Interestingly the Intelligence Bureau has almost exposed the politically motivated game plan of the CBI. The situation becomes more complex when the CBI in its charge sheet states such facts which portray a different story than a staged one.
Even after getting a slap for terming the Batala house encounter a Fake, the ruling party and its squad of spokespersons have focused their hopes on the Ishrat Jahan encounter case to devictimize the terrorists and victimize the BJP, Narendra Modi and India’s reputed and most trustworthy intelligence agencies.
Ishrat Jehan _ First CBI Charge-sheet by Firstpost
While the Congress, the NCP leaders are hallucinating about the encounter of terrorists which came to Gujarat with a plot to assassin Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, the CBI charge sheet actually denounces the claim of the masters of the ‘Caged Parrot’ and unknowingly portrays a factual picture of Ishrat Jahan’s suspicious activities which come out with the statements and confessions of various persons including her Mother.
In its charge sheet, the CBI said that Ishrat Jahan was not a terrorist, but the three others killed along with her in a fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad nine years ago had alleged terror links, the CBI has concluded in its charge sheet filed before the court.
The CBI has said the three — Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Shaikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar — were allegedly planning attacks in Ahmadabad. The charge sheet added that Javed was using Isharat, as a shield to escape detection.
Since the case is sub-judice, it is now up to the Judiciary to decide whether the encounter was a real or a fake. But it is interesting to see the picture of Ishrat Jahan that emerges in the CBI charge sheet.
THE STORY STARTS FROM- JAVED MEETS ISHRAT
The story of Isharat, a middle-class college girl from Mumbra, actually unfolds with the story of Javed Gulam Sheikh Alias Pranesh Pillai. Ishrat’s Mother Shamima Mohammad Shamim Raza tells that after the demise of her husband, she was having lots of problems in the upbringing of her family with seven children. Ishrat was the second of 7 siblings. Her lower-middle-class family, hailing from Bihar, lived in the Rashid compound in the Muslim-dominated area of Mumbra in Thane district. Studying B.Sc. at Mumbai’s Khalsa College, Isharat worked at a Computer centre and used to take tuitions of the nearby children.
In the situation of financial crisis, a friend of Ishrat's sister told that one Javed from Mumbra needs an assistant to look after his business. In the last week of April, Shamima and Isharat met Javed at a Hotel near Mumbra. After having seen Javed, Shamima states that she identified Javed immediately as he was seen at Mumbra in 1995. Javed too tells Shamima that he was in good relationship with Ishrat’s father. The meeting comes to an end as Javed offers a Job at Pune to Isharat on a monthly salary of Rs. 3000. Later when he opens a branch at Mumbai, she would be transferred.
Shamima recounts that after this Javed called on her neighbour’s cell phone someday in May 2004. He told that Ishrat has to go out of town for some office work.
But Shamima says, “She (Ishrat) stayed out of town for six days. When I enquired with Ishrat over the phone as to where she was staying, she informed that she was stationed at Lucknow. I did not ask her by which vehicle she has travelled….”
“However I came to know later from Ishrat after her return from Lucknow, that Javed owned an Indica car. I used to worry about Ishrat as she had gone to Lucknow and I had also talked to Javed, during which he assured me that he will take total care of her.”
Shamima says, “Ishrat had gone on two occasions with Javed in May 2004. After her first return from Lucknow, Ishrat had given me Rs. 2500/- and on the second occasion she had given me Rs. 2000.”
Ishrat told her mother that she was staying at the residence of Javed’s relatives in Lucknow.
TWIST TO THE TALE: THE STORY OF JAVED ALIAS PRANESH
Incidentally, Javed’s family background suggests that there is very little chance of having his relatives in Lucknow. The CBI Testimony of Javed’s father Gopinathan Pillai, a native of Noornad in Kerala indicates that he knew little about Javed’s whereabouts and activities. He has stated that he never inquired about Javed’s residence in Mumbai.
Activities of Pranesh Pillai, who later converted to Islam and became Javed Gulam Sheikh, have always remained suspicious.
Before his death, Javed had been booked for four assault cases in Mumbai and Pune. He had also been charged with involvement in a fake currency racket. He converted to Islam In the mid-1990s and changed his name to Javed Gulam Sheikh to marry his neighbour Muslim girl, Sajida. Gujarat Police recovered two passports from Javed: one obtained using his original name Pranesh and the second one in his new name.
In 1999, Javed went to Dubai. In 2002, Javed sends Rs. 1 Lakh to his father for his bypass surgery. After his return to India in 2003, Javed bought a flat in Pune in the name of ‘Sayeed Abdul Wahid’. Javed took a shop on rent and started a business of perfume and clothes at Pune. But he closed the shop because of losses, tells Sajida. Thereafter Javed told his family that he was working with Javabhai of Al Rehman Travels at Byculla. This tour company was in a business of supplying manpower to UAE based companies and sending people to Haj.
Sajida’s statements reveal many important points such as in March 2004, Javed went to Oman for some work pertaining to Import and export of electronics good. On his return, he brought a satellite phone. He was using 2-3 cell phones at that time. While returning he was having Rs. 2.50 lakhs out of which he purchased a second hand Indica car (No. MH-02-JA-4786).
Sajida also mentions how stressed was Javed while returning from Kerala just before he left his family to Ahmadnagar at Sajida’s sister’s home.
Sajida also identified Amjad Alias Bunty, the third terrorist encounter. She recalled that in the month of May 2004, at the time of purchase of Indica car, Javed had brought one of his friends at his house and introduced him as his friend ‘Bunty’. Bunty stayed at Javed’s house.
ISHRAT’S LUCKNOW TOUR: MR ABDUL REHMAN AND MRS AYESHA
When first time Ishrat went out with Javed for a week or so, the CBI charge sheet shows that Ishrat’s mother was not aware of what happened on that trip. She was assuming that it was a business trip.
The testimonies of the Mohd. Rais Ahmed Khan, the owner of Hotel Mezbaan International at Lucknow and receptionist Irshad Ali disclose that Isharat and Javed stayed there using a fake identity. The Hotel owner identified Javed and Ishrat as Abdul Rehman and his wife Ayesha, resident Byculla, Mumbai. Hotel receptionist Ashad Ali states, “After going through above photographs, I identify and state that Shri. Javed Gulam Shaikh @ Pranesh Kumar Pillai had stayed in our hotel as Abdul Rehman, Miss. Raza Ishrat Jahan stayed in our hotel as his wife Ayesha. Further Shri Amjad Ali @ Akbarali Rana @ Salim @ Bunti had stayed in our Hotel as Rajkumar…”
The hotel records show that the couple stayed in this hotel for night stays on 5, 7 and 9 May 2004. In their next visit, the couple checked in the hotel on 16 May at 3 a.m. and checked out on 17 May noon. This time they had a new companion. He was Amjad Ali. The same Amjad Ali Rana, who is also known as Akbar or Salim, was identified as a LeT terrorist from Haveli Diwan, Pakistan. Amjad is believed to have met Javed several times in Oman, and also Javed and Isharat in Ibrahimpur once. Amjad introduced Ishrat and Javed to Zeeshan, the fourth terrorist.
Amjad Ali stayed at the Hotel Mezbaan International taking a Hindu name Raj Kumar from 14 to 17 May 2004.
Irshad Ali further states that- “Ishrat Jahan @ Ayesha was very religious and regular in five times namaz. One more thing I would like to add here that on 16.05.2004, I had seen them all together…!”
Irshad Ali also points out that both Rehman and Ayesha had gone to see some films too. Ishrat was not only staying under a different name, she also knew and had met Amjad Ali.
Does all this sound like a business trip? The details about Ishrat's Lucknow trip in May 2004 also create suspicion about Javed and Ishrat's line of action.
SATELLITE PHONE AND BUYING A PISTOL; WHAT FOR?
During their stay in U.P., Javed was using a satellite phone. In the period when Cellular phones were not so common, Javed’s odd looking satellite phone grabbed the attention of many in the small towns where he and Isharat stayed.
The CBI charge sheet refers one Mohd. Miraj (age 26) a resident of village Ibrahimpur in Faizabad district. Miraj’s sister Aliabanu tells that Ishrat did not talk about her relationship with Javed and their purpose of staying there. During this period Salim (Amjad Ali) joined the stay. Alia Banu points out that Salim was having a black bag and a mobile phone which was quite big and he used to go to the terrace to talk.
After the encounter Aliabanu identified the photos of all three. Importantly she mentions that after a few days of the visit of these three persons in the village, her brother Miraj had abruptly decided to leave the village and flown to Dubai and he is still there.
The CBI or any other agencies are lip locked on those who helped Isharat and Javed.
One Mohd. Wasi @Raju says that Miraj told him that his friend from Mumbra wants to purchase a Pistol and requested to help. Miraj offered him a commission of Rs. 15-20 thousand. Raju approached one Javed S/o Jameer from Jaganpur village and he agreed to arrange a Pistol and quoted the price Rs. 50-60 thousand.
Meanwhile, Miraj introduced Javed and Isharat with him. Raju says that Javed was carrying a black airbag and an unusual bigger size mobile phone. When local Javed asked Miraj about the phone he informed that it was a cellular phone and the call rate was Rs. 60 per call.
In all those days Javed and Isharat stayed frequently at Lucknow hotel and at Miraj’s home at Ibrahimpur. Amjad Ali @Salim @ Bunty also joined them there.
In the meantime, Javed constantly tried to get a pistol from various persons but his efforts failed. Javed gave Raju a particular date to arrange the Pistol. Raju says, “Later I came to know that this was coinciding with the date of the election results in Gujarat”.
Miraj’s wife Salma Banu (age 26) tells that in a fear that the Police would definitely arrest him being a facilitator of the terrorists, Miraj ran away immediately to Dubai in 2004. Since then, he sends money to his family which stays in Faizabad.
After the encounter news came out, Raju asked Miraj about the background of Javed and Isharat. Noteworthy is Miraj’s answer. Miraj confirmed the news of encounter and told Raju that –“ they were not good people and were terrorists!”
IN GUJARAT JAVED BECAME MR RAJESH KUMAR AND ISHARAT BECAME MRS GEETA
On 15 June 2004, Javed and Isharat visited Gujarat in the last week of May 2004. Similar to the earlier story, this was Ishrat's Business tour for her mother. But probably not for Isharat and her comrade Javed. This time they took Hindu names.
The receptionist Manishkumar Christian of Hotel Raj Palace at Ahmedabad confirmed and identified Javed as Rajesh Kumar and Isharat as his wife Geeta. The couple stayed at this hotel in a deluxe room on 26 and 27 May 2004.
JUST BEFORE THE ENCOUNTER
Isharat went out with Javed for third and last time on 11 June 2004. Javed called Isharat and told her to go to Nasik. On 11 June, Isharat left home very early with two pairs of clothes in a plastic cover and a handbag. Around 11.00 a.m. she called her mother and told that she was at Nashik bus stand. She was tensed. Later she called again to tell that she was with Javed at the Nashik bus stand and nothing to worry. This call was the last call by Isharat to her family. On the same day, the couple reached Malegaon. They checked in at Hotel Radhika at 3.30 p.m. This time Javed wrote his name as Mohd. Yousuf, again a fake identity.
In 2004 after the encounter Isharat along with Javed had come to Ahmedabad twice and also on May 13, they stayed at the Shivganga hotel. They visited Gandhinagar to study the movements of the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, the security arrangements around his residence and his offices and the routes he took to reach the Secretariat. Police seized the register of the hotel say media reports. But this side of Gujarat Crime Branch does not appear anywhere in CBI Charge sheet.
NIA Ishrat Jehan Headley Note by outlook magazine
WHY IS CBI CHARGE SHEET NOT SUCCESSFUL IN ITS PURPOSE?
If read carefully, the CBI charge sheet has been otherwise focused to drag Isharat out of her ‘terrorist’ tag. But it has failed in it because the statements of Ishrat's mother, Javed’s father, Miraj’s wife, and Statements related to Ishrat's UP trip and Gujarat trip tell a lot.
Ishrat's mother and Javed’s father announce that both Isharat and Javed were not guilty. Ironically the fact is both the parents have been totally ignorant about the dubious activities of their children.
The statements have exposed the “business trip” lie of the deceased.
The CBI charge sheet does not pay attention to statements of Mohd. Wasi and family of Javed’s friend Miraj who said that the trio visited his home were ‘terrorists’.
The CBI doesn’t include a 14-page Home Ministry affidavit filed in August 2009 which called Isharat a terrorist. This affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs with the Gujarat High Court on 6 August 2009, in reply to a petition by Isharat Jahan's mother Shamima Kausar, called the 19-year-old girl a terrorist.
The Sunday Guardian says, “The affidavit, a copy of which is available with this newspaper, stated that "to fully appreciate the whole matter particularly killing of Ishrat Jahan and Javed Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh it was essential to look at the background and linkages of Javed Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh @ Pranesh Kumar Pillai with Isharat Jahan.”
The affidavit, which was filed by R.V.S Mani, Under Secretary, with the Ministry of Home Affairs says that Javed visited Oman just two months before he allegedly met Lashkar operative Muzammil.
Notably, the home ministry did a U-turn after a month and carefully expunged all the references about Ishrat Jahan's alleged links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba in the second affidavit is filed with the Gujarat High Court in September 2009.
The CBI also ignores mentions of the Gujarat Crime branch seized diary of Isharat, which revealed these codes: Advani was ‘Lala’, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was ‘Mubarak’, Vishwa Hindu Parishad Secretary-General Dr Pravin Togadia was ‘Tinku’, Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray was ‘Kutta’, Uttar Pradesh BJP president Vinay Katiyar was ‘Kanta’ and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti was ‘Behenji’. Delhi was ‘Maika’.
Noteworthy is the statement of Pakistani American terrorist David Headley who said that Ishrat was indeed a Lashkar-e-Taiba fidayeen. Sources said Headley told interrogators from the National Investigation Agency that Isharat, a resident of Mumbra in Thane, was recruited by top Lashkar commander Muzammil who was in charge of LeT's operations in India till 2007.
In 2004, a news report published in Lahore-based Ghazwa Times (considered to be a mouthpiece of the LeT) claimed that Isharat was its operative, and was with her "husband" at the time of her death. Ghazwa claimed on its website that "veil of Ishrat Jahan, a woman LeT operative, was removed by Gujarat police and her body kept with other mujahideen".
The CBI charge sheet knowingly –unknowingly portrays a picture of that ‘Fidayeen’ Isharat Jahan who got dragged into the poisonous network of the Laskar E Taiba.
The truth is yet to get decoded.
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