April 25, 2018, 9:55 pm IST
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Ishrat Jahan  ecnounter case petitioner Gopinath Pillai dies in road accident  

Ishrat Jahan  ecnounter case petitioner Gopinath Pillai dies in road accident  

 Apr 14, 2018

A petitioner in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, Gopinath Pillai, 78, died in a car accident in Kerala on Friday. Gopinath Pillai is the father of Pranesh Kumar who converted into Islam and accepted the name Javed Sheikh. Along with the Ishrat Jahan and her two friends, Javed Sheikh also killed  in an alleged encounter with Ahmedabad Police's crime branch in 2004.

Gopinath Pillai, who was injured in a car accident at Vayalar Junction in Alappuzha district, Kerala while he was headed to a Kochi hospital for check-up, succumbed to injuries on Friday. Gopinath Pillai's nephew, Madhavan Pillai, said that it was an accident and he did not suspect any foul play. "We left home by 4 am on Wednesday. A car that was moving in front of us applied brake. As I slowed down the car it was slammed from behind by a lorry", Madhavan Pillai explained about the accident. Pattanakkad sub inspector B Shajimon said the lorry driver reported the accident and the vehicle was released on Thursday. But still many alleged the death of Gopinath Pillai was also a plotted murder. 

With the death of Gopinatha Pillai, Ishrat's mother Shamima Kauser remains the only petitioner in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. The killing of Gopinath Pillai's son Sheikh, 19 year old Ishrat Jahan and two others have later become  a political hot potato as the case indirectly accusing the involvement of BJP chief Amit Shah also. Gujarat Police later claimed that all the four including Gopinatha Pillai's son were Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists and they were plotting to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

In 2008, Gopinatha Pillai approached Supreme Court for his son. From then onwards, Gopinath Pillai was continuously fighting in various courts for his son and against Gujarat Government and police. For meeting the court expenses he had also sold his 2-acre rubber estate few years back.

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