CBI probing role of senior IB officials in Sadiq Jamal encounter

The Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into the role of at least five senior Intelligence Bureau officials, in the January 2003 'encounter' killing Sadiq Jamal Mehtar in Ahmedabad. The agency has also recorded the witness statement of its then deputy director DD Padsalgikar.

The CBI alleges that not only was he shot dead by the police in a fake encounter, but also that the IB played a role in it. Encounter in Indian parlance means a security shootout with armed suspects; but it is widely read as an euphemism for an officially-sanctioned murder and cover-up.

Like they did in the Ishrat Jahan case a year later, the Gujarat Police have claimed they had intelligence that Mehtar was a terrorist who planned to attack chief minister Narendra Modi and other top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.

The CBI suspects Mehtar was allegedly targeted by a then IB assistant director at the behest of a Dawood Ibrahim aide, Tariq Parveen, who suspected him of having an affair with his wife and wanted to fix him, CBI sources said.

Retired IB officer G  Savadatti, who has been questioned by the CBI, was then attached to the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) in Mumbai and had allegedly generated a false ''source report'' on Mehtar.

This led to his detention in December 2002, and ultimately murder in a fake encounter on 13 January 2003, near Galaxy cinema at Naroda in the Gujarat city of Ahmedabad by a team of the Mumbai crime branch.