One more encounter for Modi's sake?
-A report of the all India fact finding team on the ‘encounter’ of four alleged terrorists by Gujarat police on June 15, 2004 at Ahmedabad
The alleged encounter death of four terrorists in Ahmedabad on 15 June 2004, who according to the police were on a mission to assassinate the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, struck headlines even as political circles were rife with comments on Vajpayee’s demand for Modi’s ouster. It is well known that in recent years, since the Post-Godhra carnage Gujarat has become a site for ‘encounter’ deaths where the same motive has been attributed to the slain ‘terrorists’. What perhaps made the 15 June incident sensational was the involvement of a teen-aged college girl from Mumbai, Ishrat Jehan in the incident. The fissures in the law enforcing agencies came into the open when the Thane police contradicted the claim of the Gujarat police of having received information from Mumbai that the four terrorists had set out on the assassination mission. The police version of the ‘Modi Assassination conspiracy’, the nature of the ‘encounter’, and also the claims about the links of the slain with terrorist outfits, appeared to be, and continue to remain shrouded in mystery.
The instruction by the NHRC to the Gujarat police, in response to Ishrat’s mother, to take appropriate action with regard to the investigation of the case, confirmed that the police version had failed to pass even the prima facie test. In order to collect information about the incident, an all India fact finding team consisting of members from various human rights and civil liberties organizations visited Ahmedabad on 24 June 2004. The team consisted of Kirit Bhatt, Chinnu Srinivasan, Manzoor Saleri [PUCL, Vadodara], Svati Joshi [PUDR, Delhi], CHLN Moorthy [APCLC, Hyderabad], Gopal Srinivasan and Haridas [CPDR, Mumbai]. The team visited the site of the encounter, talked with the people staying in the nearby area and interacted with media persons. The team wanted to meet the police officials concerned with the incident, but some of them were not present in Ahmedabad on that day and some others seemed unwilling to give an appointment. The team could meet only with the Joint police Commissioner, Crime Branch, Mr. P.P. Pandey. Gopal, Haridas and Anand of CPDR visited Mumbra on 27 June 2004 to collect information regarding Ishrat Jehan.
An FIR was lodged with the Crime Branch police station on 15 June 2004, on a plain paper by the complainant P.I. J.G. Parmar in the presence of ACP, Crime Branch, G.L. Singhal, both of whom were involved in the incident. The FIR states that at 11 p.m. on 14.6.2004 the Joint Police Commissioner P.P. Pandey received information through ‘his private sources’ that that a blue Indica carrying the terrorists had left Mumbai with arms and ammunition. Six police teams were then immediately stationed at Narol cross roads, CTM cross roads, Naroda S.T. workshop, Naroda -Himatnagar railway crossing, Indira bridge circle and Vishala circle in anticipation of the vehicle carrying the terrorists. The Narol team saw the Indica car entering the city and proceed towards Naroda road at about 4 a.m. and gave it a chase. The police teams stationed at various places were contacted on wireless and two police teams decided to intercept the Indica on the deserted stretch of a road with a sharp bend near Kotarpur Water works which connects the national highway and Indira bridge leading to Gandhinagar.
They did so by forcing the car to halt by shooting at its rear tyres. According to the police one of the terrorists got out of the car and opened fire from an AK 56 rifle, while others fired from inside the car. But before that the driver, the ACP, the PSI, and the commando of the police van chasing the car got down and immediately positioned themselves behind the police van and began firing from AK 47 rifle in self defence and fired 10 rounds. In the meantime when it ‘became certain that these were the same dreaded terrorists’ the ACP Dr. Amin ordered the commandos ‘to fire at the terrorists’ and 32 rounds from AK 47 and 10 rounds from the stengun were fired at the terrorist stationed near the divider and several rounds from their service revolvers at those inside the car. Firing continued from both sides for some time. After some time when the firing stopped from the other side, the police found the terrorist stationed near the road divider and three terrorists seated in the car, including ‘a woman terrorist’ dead on the spot.
The Press Note issued by the police states that ACP Dr. Narendra Amin who was at Naroda Chowkadi saw the blue Indica car and followed it. When it took turn towards airport road from Naroda- Himmatnagar Railway crossing, he asked ACP Singhal to intercept the car from the front and alerted all other police parties. Accordingly Singhal came to a turn near Kotarpur Water works and took position along with his team. It is the ACP Amin who was following the Indica in a Gypsy ordered his commando to fire at the tyre of the car to halt it. After the Indica came to halt, one terrorist sitting on left side came out of the car and fired at the Gypsy. Police fired 10 rounds in self-defence. After confirming the identity of the car, Amin ordered his commandoes to fire. The press note gives the count of rounds and the names of police personnel who fired them. In all 70 rounds were fired from the police side; 32 from AK 47, 10 from sten gun, and 18 from service revolvers. As against that the terrorists fired 35 rounds from AK 56 rifle and 7 rounds from 2 pistols. Going by the press note, the police firing at Indica has entirely taken place form the rear side of Indica and by Amin’s team.
The encounter took place near the Kotarpur Water Works and around 4.30 a.m. and lasted for nearly half an hour. Two of the slain terrorists, Jishan Johar and Amjadali Akbarali Rana are said to be Pakistanis. Of the remaining two, Javed hailed from Pune and Ishrat Jehan Shaikh from Mumbra. The FIR states that the accused who were the Pakistani fidayeen terrorists who had entered India without any proper document, equipped with arms and ammunition, with an intention of killing chief minister Narendra Modi, had opened fire on the police party which had gone to arrest them and therefore they should all be tried under 3(2)(a),(c) 13, 14, of The Foreigners Act, IPC 120B, 121, 121A, 123, 307, 353, 186, Arms Act 25(1( A, 27, 29 and the prevention of Terrorist Act 3(1),(a)(b), 3(2), 3(3), 20, 21 and B.P. Act 135(1).
The police claim that one AK 56 gun; three magazines with 81 bullets, one empty magazine, two pistols, a satellite phone, cash worth 2.06 lakh, and two mobile phones were recovered from the alleged terrorists. A number of coconuts dipped in some chemicals along with 20 kg packets of explosive powder which according to police inference were planned to be used for producing an improvised explosive device (IED) were also stored in the Indica. Interestingly, Urdu literature which the crime branch says is meant to teach the fidayeen the act of manufacturing IED was also recovered.
Even as the above version of the police started doing the rounds, the obvious question has been asked as to why the terrorists squad could not be intercepted much earlier and why they were allowed to travel on the national highway from Mumbai up to Narol Road near Gandhinagar where Narendra Modi is stationed. When the team met Mr. P.P. Pandey, Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP), Crime Branch, the team members put this question to him. His reply was that he was responsible only for the Ahmedabad city which was under his jurisdiction. Again when asked about the intelligence source that had given the police intimation regarding the terrorist squad, Mr. Pandey was not ready to share much. "The sources can not be revealed in the interest of operations, in the interest of future operations, in the interest of national security", he said. He also said that the source need not be official channels and that there could be various ‘private’ channels.
When asked as to why no attempt had been made to arrest the terrorists, his answer was evasive. The identities of the two slain terrorists who have been described as Pakistanis also do not seem to have been confirmed. When Mr. Pandey was asked what proof he had to determine their Pakistani identity, he stated that nobody had claimed their bodies so far, whereas the other two bodies [of Javed and Ishrat] were claimed by their relatives. This ‘proved’ that they were not of Indian origins and that they were Pakistanis. When it was pointed out to him that since no photographs of them were flashed either in news papers or on television, and since a large population of India stayed in far off villages where news hardly reached, he added that he had given orders to the Information department to flash their pictures and the process had started which would of course take some time and cost 15 to 20 lakh rupees! Other than the claims by the Crime Branch, Gujarat, which was also reported by Times of India (TOI) (Ahmedabad edition) on 18 June 2004, that they had had intelligence that one of the two crossed over the Line of Control (LoC) from Jammu Sector and the other through Kashmir Sector, there seems to be no authentic proof on this count. Sources in Crime Branch are reported to have told the media that the two had entered India illegally way back in April. As the report of TOI (Ahmedabad) on 17 June 2004 says, "what were their activities since then (i.e., since April) is a matter of investigation".
According to the JPC, Crime Branch, P.P. Pandey, one of the slain Pakistanis, Jishan Johar had an identity card issued by the executive magistrate of Mahore in Udhampur district but he did not believe he was a bonafide Indian Kashmiri. The card may be fake but this proves he had stayed in Udhampur after his illegal entry into the country. What seems to be replicated apparently is the story of the two slain terrorists in the Akshardham attack in September 2002. As TOI (Ahmedabad) reported on18 June 2004, “..... However even in the case of the Akshardham attack in September 2002, where the two slain terrorists were believed to be LeT operatives from Pakistan, the neighboring country has denied the claim and refused to take possession of the bodies."
Our team members were puzzled over the fact that the road on which the encounter is said to have happened for half an hour with sophisticated weapons like AK47 and AK56, no bullet marks were visible either on the road or on the nearby divider which is about 1.5 feet wide. The police attribute no injury to policemen during the encounter to their taking shelter behind the police Gypsy. Considering that there was heavy firing from both sides according to the police, and that too in the dark, surely some stray firing would have left some marks. Again, according to the media reports (Indian Express, 16/06/04) the Gypsy suffered only minor damage (11 bullet holes on one side) while the Indica car in which the terrorists traveled had its rear side windscreen and the two windscreens on one side completely smashed. Besides it was riddled with several bullet marks all over. In the pictures released by the media too the blue Indica car, which had its rear side smashed, was shown more frequently. The Police Gypsy that is supposed to have got bullet holes was not shown. This raises suspicion about the police version of heavy firing from the 'terrorists'.
It may be recalled that this is not for the first time that the Gujarat police has claimed to have acted to thwart the conspiracy to assassinate Modi. In fact there have been several encounter deaths in the post genocide period in Gujarat, three (including the present case) of which have been attributed to the killing of Modi and other ministers. On 23 October 2002, Samir Khan Pathan, arrested in connection with a 'Modi murder plot' died in an ‘encounter’ while in judicial custody. He was taken out on one day and killed on the Usmanpura road in Ahmedabad. A few months later, on 2 January 2003, a local court acquitted all the other thirteen accused in the same plot for want of evidence. (When asked by our team members why no case was registered against the guilty police personnel involved in this 'encounter', even after the court verdict had announced those arrested innocent, Mr. Pandey had no answer.) Again, on 13 January 2003, Sadiq Jamal Mehttar was shot down in Naroda, allegedly when he opened fire on cops. According to the Crime Branch he was an LeT operator conspiring to target not only Modi but also L. K. Advani and Pravin Togadia.
The Indian Express, (Vadodara edition) on19 June 2004 states that the slain terrorist in this case was, according to Mumbai police, linked to Dawood Ibrahim. As the Indian Express report states, “there is more than one similarity in the three incidents. All needed the shooting down some of the ‘conspirators'; in all three cases the operators belonged to terrorists outfits like Lashkar or Jaish and all encounters now remain shrouded in a cloud of doubts.” In the present conspiracy to kill Modi, as mentioned earlier all that JCP Pandey had to say was that his information was from a 'private source' that could not be revealed. The TOI (Ahmedabad) reported on 17 June 2004, under the caption ‘Police draw out Dubai, Kashmir links of Assassins':
Similarly, in Samir Khan Pathan’s case, there was no evidence of the conspiracy except the confession of Pathan himself who was eliminated. The obvious question that arises in the present context is as to why the Gujarat Crime Branch in spite of this earlier experience made no attempt to apprehend at least some of the 'terrorists' who were on their mission to kill Modi, rather than eliminating all of them. If according to them, repeated attempts are made by international agencies to kill Modi it is extremely important and indeed in the interest of national security to arrest some of the agents to gain detailed knowledge of the conspiracy.
There are several contradictions in the police account:
Some people told us that the encounter death of Latif, which had struck the headlines, had also happened in this area and that the desolateness of the area made it a suitable place for fake encounters. Also all the encounter killings have taken place in the early morning, in the dark, when no witnesses, except for the policemen, are present. The people were convinced that it was cold-blooded murder. On being asked as to what made them think so, they cited absence of any visible damage to the police car and the absence of injury to the policemen as the main reasons. According to them, if the slain had powerful weapons like AK 56, they would have certainly shot some of the policemen. Some believed that all the four were brought to the spot with their hands tied up and shot dead on the spot.
The above version of the people in the area certainly reinforces the suspicion of the police version.
and other reports
The newspaper reports also point to the possibility of an ‘encounter’ premeditated by the police, thus suggesting the political nature of the police action. Was it all pre planned? The question might be embarrassing to the Gujarat Crime Branch. But the fact that the TOI (Ahmedabad edition) on 16 June 2004, carried a news item under a seven-column caption, “Many had anticipated Crime Branch pre rath yatra exploit” suggested that there was a strong fear that something might happen during this time. The TOI report states:
After recalling the incidents of the 'Modi assassination conspiracy' in the past, the report goes on to describe the present ‘encounter’:
The report also mentions that the 'terrorist' vehicle contained among other things coconuts dipped in chemicals, packets of explosives and Urdu literature that according to the police version was meant to give instructions regarding making explosives. Whether the possession of such articles suggests an intention to throw coconuts with explosives on the rath yatra crowd or to assassinate Modi is only a matter of speculation. Perhaps Vajpayee’s remark about Modi’s removal forced the police to change the ‘disruption of Rath yatra’ narrative into the ‘Modi assassination conspiracy’ narrative. There are also indications that there is disbelief in the police circle itself about the 'Modi assassination plot'.
TOI in a report on 17 June 2004 said: ''Senior officials in Gandhinagar expressed doubts about the mission and said it appeared a case of disrupting the rath yatra more than anything else, ‘but after Akshardham we are willing to believe the worst', they said.” Similarly Indian Express, (Vadodara edition) 16 June 2004 reported, JCP, Mumbai Satyapal Singh expressing doubt about the incident: "Were they (the terrorists) from Mumbai? We did not have any information. They should have informed us. We are trying to identify the woman and also the owner of the car, who they say has a Mumbai connection.”
Regarding the diaries found with the deceased, the report of the TOI dated 21 June 2004, titled ''handwriting in Ishrat's diary yet to be ascertained'', (referring to the photocopies of the Ishrat's diary distributed to the media by the police), says:
The same report also points out that the claims of having the names of all VIP targets and their code names in the diary when they were allegedly on an assassination mission also appear strange. The report remarks: ".... And when code names for targets are used why is their equivalent full name carried in the same diary?''.
Another report in the TOI on 18 June 2004 (Ahmedabad edition) under the title ''Close encounters: Daya Nayak has competition here'' suggests a police network operating behind these encounters. It says that ever since the post-Godhra riots, eight persons have been gunned down in four encounters and in all the four encounters, ''the fingers on the triggers'' have belonged to the same few - Tarun Barot, Jai singh Parmar, I. A. Sayeed and Kishore Singh Vaghela, all 'star' inspectors of the Ahmedabad Crime Branch. According to the report Samir Khan Pathan, the accused in one of the Modi murder plot met his end at the hands of Vaghela. Sadiq Mehttar, the accused in another Modi murder plot was killed by Parmar, Sayeed and Vaghela. In the ‘encounter’ before Rath yatra in June 2003, where the police had alleged a conspiracy to kill the Gujarat law Minister and an MLA, two persons Ganesh Khunte and Mahendra Jadhav were gunned down by Tarun Barot, Sayeed and Mahendra Parmar besides Mavani, and C. J. Goswami. The report concludes:
An independent enquiry report, carried out by Indian Peoples’ Tribunal headed by Justice Daud, retired judge of Bombay High Court and titled “In the name of development?” on the struggle against the proposed Maroli-Umbargaon port project in Gujarat had indicted Narendra Ameen of the custodial death of Col. Pratap Save. We reproduce the relevant extract form the report:
The above reports pertinently raise the following points:
about Ishrat: The face of the encounter
Abdul Rauf Lala, a local social worker and one of the persons who accompanied Ishrat’s mother to Ahmedabad to bring Ishrat’s body met the team in the office of Mr. Saad Salil Said, chairman of the Trust that runs the Sumaiya High School. He described Ishrat as a poor, innocent, sincere, and studious girl. They were so poor that when two years ago Ishrat’s father died, they did not have money to perform even his last rites. The community people in Rashid Compound where they lived collected donations to cremate him. Her younger brother Anwar could not take SSC examination because he did not have money to pay the fees. They have not paid rent for their house for the last six months. Ishrat and her younger sister Mushrat, who herself is studying in 12th standard this year, have been taking tuitions to support the family of seven. If she was working with terrorists for money, or received the kind of sum (Rs. 9 lakhs) as the Gujarat police claimed, the condition of her family would not be so pathetic.
Mr. Lala told us that the Crime Branch Police, Thane conducted raid at her house and took away everything connected with her but could not find any thing to suspect her involvement in any illegal nefarious activities. They had even gone public on TV confirming it. It is only with her alleged links with Javed as per the Gujarat Police that her otherwise clean image is being tarnished. “How can one believe the Police of Gujarat, whom even the Supreme Court had to castigate in an unprecedented manner”,- he remarked.
He narrated the story about how they were treated by Ahmedabad Police when they went to claim the body of Ishrat. He said that their visit was seemingly coordinated by the ACP (Crime Branch), Thane and none other than the people like R. R. Patil, Home Minister and Rajendra Darda had assured them that there would not be any problem with them at Ahmedabad. However, when they reached the Police – they were treated as though they were criminals. Ishrat’s mother was immediately taken to a room where five officers interrogated her for nearly three hours. When Adv. Shakeb Khan pleaded with Police that he was her advocate and he had to accompany her as his client, he was still not allowed. Police told him that Gujarat law was different. They were not allowed to go out for eating or their Friday namaz. The gun trotting policemen always surrounded them and even accompanied them to TOIlet. When the media persons collected around them after Ishrat’s mother came out, they were warned not to talk to media. When they were made to speak by the mediamen they started physically obstructing them to the extent that media people had to clash with Police.
When they demanded post mortem report, they were first made to shuttle between the Police to hospital. Eventually, they were made to submit an application and assured that the report would be given within 15 days. Adv. Shakeb Khan and Munna Sahil, who had also gone to Ahmedabad talked to us confirming these details independently.
We met Asad Ullah Khan, who ran Unique Tuition Classes where Ishrat had worked as tutor. He narrated to us that after passing her SSC from Abdullah Patel High School, Ishrat was appointed as tutor to teach 8th standard student at the salary of Rs. 600/-. She had to come in the morning from 7.15 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. and some times in the evening from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. She did this for one year during her 11th standard. During her 12th standard, she taught his own children in 4th and 5th standards in the evening after 7 pm. at his house. This she did up to 2002. In 2002 her father died.
We met with Ishrat’s family, her mother, elder sister, younger brother and a sister, to know the precise sequence of events around Ishrat’s leaving home on Saturday, the 12th June, 2004. Ishrat’s mother told us that Rashid Ansari came to their house and told that there was a good job for Ishrat during the vacation period. Ishrat was on look out for a job during the summer vacation when there were no tuitions, which was the source of income for the family. This job was organized by his friend Javed. The job involved staying away from home at times. Her mother permitted Ishrat to take up this job and she had gone to Lucknow two times presumably for this job. Ishrat had told them that the people were good Muslims and the job was easy involving accounts keeping for marketing of some product. They would pay her Rs. 3500. On all these earlier occasions she would phone them up after reaching her destination. She had stayed with some family in Lucknow. On June 12, she had received a call and she told her mother that she would go out for two to three days. At around 11.00 a.m. she left home, with her purse and few clothes in a plastic bag. Unlike earlier times, they did not receive any call from her and were already worried. They only came to know that she was killed in an encounter through Police on 16th afternoon.
On enquiring why she said to the media that she did not know Javed for the first time whereas subsequently admitted that she knew him, Ishrat’s mother replied that she did not know him distinctly but later on she could recollect him working with her husband. She had left Mumbra sometime back and thereafter she did not know much about him. Her children however did not know him.
We met Ibrahim Khalid Abidi, who was General Secretary of Tanzime Walidaen (Organization of Parents), which extends tuitions and scholarship to poor students and medical help to needy in Mumbai. He is also a Joint Secretary of Khair-e-Unmat, the trust that runs Tanzime Walidaen. His relation with this case was that Ishrat was one of the 270 teachers they appointed to tutor the 5th standard students, identified by them as the crucial standard where the drop rates of students is alarmingly high. Every teacher was assigned some 10 students in his or her area. Ishrat also had her students to be tutored from 4 to 6 p.m. in Mumbra and received Rs. 700 per month for the same. Mr. Abidi told us that they selected their teachers on the criterion of their sincerity, commitment, apart from their academic capabilities. He said that Ishart was very punctual, regular and committed. He offered us his attendance registers and interviews with the students to verify.
Jalud Ali, who taught Ishrat in the municipal school, told us that Ishrat was consistently a good student. She was socially conscious and wanted to help students. She took part in co-curricular activities and had regularly participated in school dramas etc. He told us that Ishrat had also approached him for some computer related job during the summer vacation as she did not have income from tuition.
We met Asadullah Hanshi, a freelance reporter who had some information connected with this incident which was reportedly carried in Thane Plus, a local supplement of the Times of India. He said that he received information from his source that a Gypsy from Gujarat police was parked in Mumbra police station on Saturday (12.06.04) at around 12.00 pm. The inmates had gone with a local police looking for someone. His informer next reported to him that the vehicle had left around mid night that day. He said that this information raises a cloud of suspicion whether Ishrat was taken by Gujarat police.
We went to Mumbra police station and met with the officer-in-charge Mr. Bhagatsingh Pardeshi, Sr. PI to check this information. Mr. Pardeshi said that the Mumbra police station did not have anything to do with this incident and it is being dealt directly with Thane Crime Branch. He denied that Gujarat police had visited Mumbra police station on 12th. He also said that Mumbra police station did not have any information on Ishrat, however there were five cases against Javed whom he called Tapori, a hooligan in the colloquial language.
The above information the team gathered points to the following:
While these facts do not necessarily prove that she was not involved in any ‘underground’ activities but they circumstantially cry out for the proof of the crime for which she is punished with death.
The recent disclosures about a website allegedly associated with LeT
owning her up as their martyr, is also not a proof enough for her involvement.
The organizations like LeT with professed communal objectives can only
profit by owning up any such victims as its own martyrs. Moreover, like
the identity of the Pakistani terrorists, the veracity of this website
is far from established.
According to the police, only one ’terrorist’ had stepped out of the car and there was only one AK 56 and two pistols found among the four of them. It is indeed surprising that about 20 member strong two police teams which had surrounded the car and were well armed with AK 47 rifles and several revolvers could not capture any of them. The use of force by the police has to be commensurate with the force used by the opposite group, which does not seem to be the case in this incident. This raises doubts about their intentions which seem to be directly eliminating the accused, instead of subjecting them to the due process of law for punishing the guilty.
If, on the other hand, the terrorists are said to have fired 42 rounds at the police teams, as the police claim, how is it possible that there were no injuries or bullet marks on a single policeman? The absence of injury suffered by the policemen makes it difficult to establish their claim that they fired at the terrorists in self-defence.
The identity of the two who are described as Pakistanis has not yet been established. There seems to be no serious attempt made by the police to do so. The police did not even possess their photographs and claim to have identified them as LeT terrorists through their description. They have also not flashed their pictures in newspapers or on television in order that they may be identified.
The terrorist links of Ishrat and Javed have not been established till date. At least the information on Ishrat collected from the team does not corroborate with the police version. The recent statement by an LeT news agency as reported in Indian Express, Delhi, of 15 July 2004 that Ishrat had LeT links has been dismissed by Ishrat’s family and their lawyer as mischief of Gujarat police. Such websites can be created and launched by any child everyday. Genuineness of the website apart, the team does not consider LeT’s owning up Ishrat as its martyr as sufficient to establish that she indeed was linked with LeT.
Since the encounter took place early in the morning, in the dark, there were no eyewitnesses apart from the police. No bullet marks or damages were observed on the road or the divider. It is inconceivable that AK 56 bullets from terrorist or AK47 bullets from police firing would not stray and hit the nearby objects.
As in all cases in recent times the 'diary' of the dead is being produced as major evidence for justifying the police action. This is done before confirming that these diaries were actually those of the slain, and establishing under what circumstances they were written. It is incredible that people on an assassination mission would have carried with them such diaries. It is even more incredible that such diaries would have the names of VIPs, whom they intended to target along with the code names they use secretly.
The names of the police personnel involved in the earlier encounters of Gujarat figure in the present case also. It only reinforces the pattern this ‘encounter’ forms with the earlier similar incidents.
One of the courts in Gujarat had dismissed a case of 'Modi Assasination' due to lack of evidence and acquitted 13 persons as the person on whose confession the conspiracy theory was based had died in encounter. Logically in the present case attempts should have been made to capture the 'terrorists' alive so that the conspiracy could be laid bare. It was moreover necessary in the context of repeated attempts of this terrorist organization to assassinate Modi as Gujarat police themselves claim. Why the Gujarat police did not even attempt to capture the terrorist alive remains a mystery.
Taking cognizance of the contradictions between police version, information
given by people that further contradicts the police version, suspicions
expressed by the media, and general context of the case, there is sufficient
ground to believe that the encounter was fake. It does not appear improbable
as some people told us that the four deceased were already in the police
custody and were taken to that desolate place in the dead of night to
be shot dead.