AHMEDABAD—Observing that there was no evidence against them, a special CBI court on Tuesday discharged two policemen-Police Sub Inspector P L Mawani and police constable A S Yadav-in Sadiq Jamal Mehtar fake encounter case of 2003.
The two policemen had filed a discharge application in August this year, saying that the CBI had falsely chargesheeted their involvement in the case.
Sadiq Jamal, a youth hailing from Bhavnagar, was killed in an alleged police encounter on January 13, 2003, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city.
The Ahmedabad crime branch, whose sleuths were involved in the encounter killing, had claimed that Sadiq was linked with Lashklar-eToiba and was given an assignment to kill top BJP leaders, including Chief Minister Narendra Modi, L K Advani and VHP leader Pravin Togadia.
But the case was handed over to CBI after Sadiq’s brother moved the Gujarat High Court, pleading that it was a cold-blooded murder by the cops.
Subsequently, eight policemen were booked in the murder of Sadiq. In its chargesheet, the CBI claimed that case was that of a staged encounter and a pre-planned conspiracy. The charge sheet said that Sadiq was in illegal confinement of the Gujarat police, that after taking custody of him from Mumbai Police, had killed him on January, 13, 2003.
It was revelations made by a Mumbai-based journalist Ketan Tirodkar that helped CBI to crack the case. Tirodkar told a Mumbai special court presiding over Maharashtra Control of Organise Crime Act (MCOCA) that Sadiq Jamal was handed over to Gujarat police by PSI Daya Nayak of Mumbai Police. He also revealed that Sadiq Jamal was not a militant, nor was he having any link with any terror organisation or outfit. Sadiq, according to Tirodkar, was a victim of 2002 Gujarat riots. He demanded action against Daya Nayak under the provisions of MCOCA.
Giving details to the court, Tirodkar alleged that in January 2003, Nayak told him that he wanted to oblige a top Gujarat politician by handing over a militant for an encounter killing. Tirodkar told Nayak that he had met one Sadiq, in Dubai, who had lost his family members and house in the Gujarat 2002 riots. He said that Sadiq had requested to help him to settle down in Bhavnagar.
But Tirodkar, instead of helping Sadiq, took him to Daya Nayak. Nayak portrayed Sadiq as a LeT operative on a mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and handed him over to the Gujarat police near the Borivli National Park in Mumbai.
Just two days after this, Tirodkar came to know Sadiq was killed in a police encounter.