NEW DELHI (TIP): Ishrat Jahan’s family cites threat to life, seeks securityThe family members of Ishrat Jahan, the 19-year-old college student killed by Gujarat police in a “fake” encounter in 2004, on Thursday have claimed threat to their lives and wrote to the Centre demanding adequate security. Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kauser, through her lawyer, wrote to Union home secretary Anil Goswami, claiming “grave threat to life, liberty and security” to her, her children as well as Rauf Lala and Mohinuddin Ismail Sayed, who have been supporting her fight for justice, and sought protection.
In New Delhi, according to official sources, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde has instructed that the family’s request should be looked into at the earliest. At a press conference in Mumbai, Ishrat’s sister Mushrat said: “My family and those supporting us are facing threat to their lives. Those who don’t want us to fight for justice are terrorising us.” “Around 2.30am [on Thursday], some people claiming to be policemen started knocking on our door. They said they wanted to speak to us. But we did not open the door,” she said.
“When we enquired with the Mumbra police station, we were told that they did not send anybody. The constable posted outside our house was missing. When we tried calling him, we found we had been given a wrong phone number.” Citing another incident, Ishrat’s uncle Rauf Lala said he and his family members were returning home in a car from the airport on the intervening night of June 18-19 when two armed men attacked the vehicle and broke its rear glass. “The attackers were nabbed by a crowd and taken to Mumbra police station.
A country made firearm was recovered from them. It was clear that the accused fired at the vehicle. But the police diluted the crime, registered a road accident case and let off the two,” he said. Shivshankar Munde, senior inspector, Mumbra police station, however, said the people knocking on the door at night were policemen. “Our beat marshals and people patrolling in the night went to check on them. The constable had probably stepped out,” he said. But the inspector remained mum about the wrong phone number.