Sohrabuddin fake encounter case is once again opened a can of worms for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Amitabh Thakur, former Superintendent of Police in the CBI, Gandhinagar, and chief investigating officer in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, told the Special CBI Court that BJP national President Amit Shah along with four others has politically and financially benefited from this case.
According to Livelaw, Amit Shah was paid Rs70 lakh in three instalments by the Patel brothers, “who were allegedly threatened for their lives in an attempt to extort money by Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati.” DG Vanzara was also allegedly paid Rs 60 lakh to carry out the encounter.
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Mr. Thakur denied that he was asked by the Director of CBI Ashwani Kumar to implicate all the 22 accused in the case.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh’s brother Rubabuddin Sheikh before the Special CBI Judge SJ Sharma recounted that Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and brother Najamuddin on November 16, 2005 had gone to Indore then to Hyderabad to visit a cousin for Eid. Tulsiram Prajapati, Sohrabuddin’s close aide was also with them.
On November 22, 2005 Najamuddin told Rubabuddin that Sohrabuddin and their sister-in-law were in Sangli but the next day when he called them, he only heard the wind. On November 25, the phone was not reachable. The following day, Rubabuddin’s brother Shahnawazuddin called him and told him the news that Sohrabuddin had been killed in a fake encounter and they had to go to Ahmadabad to take the body.
Rababuddin told the court that he asked one of the officers of ATS as to why had they killed his brother and asked for the whereabouts of Kausar Bi. He also told the court that the CBI had wiped off the fact that Kausar Bi was pregnant at the time of her death. The Gujarat CID had also ignored this fact. Rababuddin also revealed that Tulsiram Prajapati had called him from Udaipur Jail and told him he was the eye witness of the police killing Sohrabuddin in front of him. When Rababuddin asked him why he wasn’t killed, Prajapati replied that he was a Hindu.
“Najamuddin told me that Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi were travelling in a bus back to Ahmadabad when a couple of cars came up ahead of the bus and stopped the bus. Then officers of the Gujarat ATS and Rajasthan STF took Sohrabuddin with them and shot him,” said Rababuddin and broke down in tears. He further said that seeing Sohrabuddin’s body closely, there were eight bullet marks which appeared to have been shot from a close range.
Rababuddin alleged that his sister-in-law had been raped then killed. And ATS officer, Ravindra Makwana, who was posted at the ATS headquarters as Police Station Officer testified to the rape and murder. In August 2010, before the CBI enquiry Makwana had said that a sub-inspector Balkrishna Chaubey with the Gujarat ATS who had been tasked with guarding Kausar Bi had raped and killed her at a farm house near Ahmadabad.
The Geeta Johri 2006 report clearly stated that “the collusion and highlighted role of the home minister Amit Shah, MOS for Home makes a complete mockery of the rule of law and is perhaps an example of the involvement of the state government in a major crime.”
But the enquiry was suspended and the enquiry papers taken away under the guise of scrutiny. The report also revealed that Shah had called for a meeting of senior police officials in January 30, 2006 and attempted to influence the investigating agency that Kausar Bi was not the lawfully married wife of Sohrabuddin.
Over the years, the Sohrabuddin case has become more controversial and people want answers and severe action to be taken against those involved.