Faked Encounter of College Student?

June 19, 2004 | Comments Off on Faked Encounter of College Student?

In what appears to be another faked encounter, the Gujarat police killed four young people, including student Ishrat Jahan Raza, stating the four were planning to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.  Survivors and activists charge Modi’s government with organizing the 2002 Gujarat carnage of Muslims.

The Gujarat police claimed that Ishrat and three others belonged to an outlawed militant organization Lakshar-e-Toiba.  Bombay police, however, have found no link between Ishrat and militant activities:

On Thursday the police in Bombay said that 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan Raza had no criminal background and had never been involved in any terrorist activity…

The vice-principal of the girl’s college said he believed the girl was well-behaved and attended her classes regularly.

She was never found to be involved in any unlawful activity , he said.

Ishrat’s family did not learn of her death until reporters came to their apartment to interview them:

At her home in her tiny apartment in Rashid compound in this crowded town in Thane district, Shamima was told of the death of her daughter, a second-year science student at Mumbai’s Gurunanak Khalsa College, by reporters on Tuesday evening. “We had no cable or newspaper, so I had no idea. One of the reporters showed me my daughter’s picture in the paper and it was then that I realised that it was her,” she said…

The whole family was taken for questioning at night to the police station and they came home only early next morning. The eldest of the daughters, Zeenat, was a school dropout and she and Ishrat took tuitions at home. Their father died two years ago. The two girls also did some `zari’ embroidery work to supplement the family income.

The landlady, Anwari Begum, said the family was very poor and could not even pay the monthly rent. Ishrat was always a topper and was educated with a lot of difficulty by her mother.

The Gujarat Congress is demanding a CBI probe into these killings.  These killings came in the midst of speculation of whether the Bhartiya Janata Party national executive committee meeting would address the removal of Modi.


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