World News

Petitioner in Ishrat Jahan encounter case killed in road accident

Petitioner in Ishrat Jahan encounter case killed in road accident

Gopinatha Pillai, 78, fighting a protracted legal battle to clear the name of his son - Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Ghulam Sheikh - who was branded a terrorist and shot by Gujarat police in 2004, succumbed to injuries on Friday following a road accident here on Wednesday.

According to New Indian Express report, Pillai, whose son Pranesh Kumar Pillai alias Javed Sheikh was killed along with Ishrat Jahan in the encounter case by Gujarat Police in 2004, met with an accident when a lorry crashed into his vehicle on National Highway 66 at Vayalar near Cherthala. "We are looking into the accident in detail for leads", the officers added.

"It was grief that helped me negate the fear that I felt right through my fight for justice", Pillai had told Express in an interview in 2013."Like any other law-abiding citizen, I was shattered when I heard that my son was killed in an encounter and that he had terrorist links".

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The deceased has been identified as Gopinath Pillai. With Gopinatha's death, Ishrat's mother Shamima Kauser remains the only petitioner in the case. He also took to Facebook to insinuate that Gopinath Pillai was killed. According to the family members, Pillai passed away in the afternoon at 2 am. A Special Investigation Team, which was constituted after the orders of Gujarat High Court, in its report said that it was a fake encounter as all 4 sitting in the auto were abducted before they were murdered. Sheikh was allegedly killed in cold blood along with Ishrat Jahan and two others.

The CBI, which investigated the case, had accused Pandey, who then headed the Ahmedabad crime branch, as being involved in the alleged fake encounter.


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