Sohrabuddin case: cop says fired in self-defence

Sohrabuddin case: cop says fired in self-defence

Tulsiram Prajapati

A police officer from Gujarat, Ashish Pandya, who pulled the trigger on notorious criminal Tulsiram Prajapati, on Thursday said that he opened fire in self-defence.

Then a sub-inspector, Pandya too, had sustained a wound in the encounter,  in which Tulsiram Prajapati was killed.

"I fired in self-defence," Pandya told additional sessions Judge SJ Sharma, who is presiding over a special CBI court that is conducting the trial of two alleged fake encounters involving Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati and the mysterious disappearance, rape and killing of Kausar Bi.

"He (Tulsiram Prajapati) was injured in the firing... he was rushed to a hospital, where a doctor pronounced him dead on admission," he said during the recording of the statement under section 313 of the CrPC. He added that he was "deliberately framed in a false case."

Over the last few days, the special judge had recorded statements of 20 of the total 22 accused facing trial in the case.

Once all of them depose, the defence witnesses, if any, would be examined.
One of the accused, senior inspector of Rajasthan police, Abdur Rehman, who reportedly fired at Sohrabuddin Shaikh, had expressed his desire to the court in presenting defence witnesses in the case to prove his innocence.

Tulsiram, who was with Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi when they were abducted, was later arrested by the Rajasthan police. While being escorted from Rajasthan to Gujarat for hearing of a case - nearly a year after Sohrabuddin's encounter - Tulsiram reportedly escaped from custody and later died in encounter.

According to the CBI, both encounters were fake.