Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ishrat Jahan case: Injured in accident, father of Pranesh Pillai dies

Ishrat Jahan case: Injured in accident, father of Pranesh Pillai dies

Gopinatha Pillai was one of the petitioners in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

A native of Thamarakkulam in Alappuzha district, 77-year-old Gopinatha Pillai was on his way to Kochi on Wednesday morning when the auto, he was traveling in, hit a truck. He was admitted to Amrita hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Friday.

However, Gopinatha Pillai believed that his son and others were murdered in a fake encounter and launched a legal fight. His brother was also traveling with him in the auto and is reported to be stable. "We have identified the vehicle involved in the accident".

Surendran said that the probe team would be led by Cherthala Dy.SP A.G. Lal. Gopinath Pillai was the father of Pranesh Kumar Pillai who was also shot dead by the Gujarat police.

"When we checked the CCTV visuals of a petrol bunk 400km away from the accident spot, we saw three trucks, including an oil tanker, behind Gopinath's vehicle". Gopinath Pillai's advocate Shamshad Pathan, tweeted, "Gopinath Pillai was an important witness in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case". The victim was a resident of Thamarakulam area in Alappuzha district. According to the family members, Pillai passed away in the afternoon at 2 am. A chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) concluded that it was a fake encounter.

Nearly a decade after the fake encounter, in July 2013, a charge sheet was filed against seven Gujarat police officials and (in a supplementary charge sheet in February 2014) four Intelligence Bureau officials for the unlawful killings, abduction, criminal conspiracy etc. This year in February, a special CBI court acquitted the former DGP PP Pandey, one of the accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

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