More than seven years after college girl Ishrat Jahan and her three friends were killed and passed off as militants, court-appointed investigators have concluded that they were murdered by the state police in a staged shootout.
The conclusion by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) deals a huge setback to the Gujarat government and also vindicates the stand long maintained by activists and families of the dead.
Following the SIT report on the 2004 killings, the Gujarat High Court's division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari yesterday ordered a fresh FIR against the accused police officers for the murders under Section 302 that recommends death penalty.
The court-appointed SIT, headed by police officer R.R. Verma, said that Jahan, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed earlier than the shootout date of June 15, 2004.