Poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe by a special investigation team into the alleged fake encounters in Gujarat claiming that innocent people, particularly Muslims, are being targeted as terrorists.
The petition citing news reports and a recent sting operation done by a news magazine into the killing of criminal Sameer Khan in October 2002, alleged it was a fake encounter and there was an attempt at the highest level of the Gujarat government to cover the entire incident.
Khan, who was in the custody of police, was killed on the intervening night of October 21-22, 2002 when he allegedly snatched the revolver of a police man who had accompanied him with a team to a spot where he had murdered a constable.
An FIR was registered alleging that Khan was involved in a conspiracy hatched by Pakistan's ISI and Jaish-e-Mohammed to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders.
Akhtar, who jointly filed the petition with social activist Shabnam Hashmi, alleged it was the same team of Gujarat police that killed Soharabuddin Sheikh and later his wife Kauser Bi.
The petition filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan contended that there are other media reports of killing of innocent persons in fake encounters by the same team of Gujarat police and sought investigation by a special investigation team into the cover up of the killing of Khan.
"It appears from all the incidents of fake encounters, a pattern has emerged of killing innocent people, particularly from the Muslim community, on the pretext of them being dreaded terrorists and conspiring to kill the chief minister of the state at the behest of terrorist group like JeM," it said.
Akhtar alleged it has become a trend in Gujarat to demonise Muslims and then kill them in cold blood.
He claimed it has been found that in all such incidents the police officials have been awarded and decorated as heroes.
In the petition, he alleged that in almost all these incidents the same group of police officials led by D G Vanzara, arrested in connection with Soharabuddin Sheikh's killing, have been found to be involved and in many such incidents there has been a massive cover-up by people placed at the top.
"In the circumstances, it is not possible for there to be any proper and independent investigation into these crimes by an investigative agency that is even remotely under the influence of the state government," the petition said.