Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in crucial stage

The judgement expected to be by the end of December. The accused mainly includes policemen of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Senior Inspectors, Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Head-Constables and Constables. File photo

The final arguments in the sensational twin encounters of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati and the gruesome rape and murder of Kausar Bi would commence in a special CBI court on Monday. 

The alleged fake encounters of notorious gangsters Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram and disappearance of the former's wife Kausar Bi in 2005-06 had resulted in a major political issue involving the BJP-ruled Gujarat.

Sohrabuddin also had connections with Lashkar-e-Taiba and was conspiring to assassinate an "important political leader", presumably Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the then Gujarat Chief Minister.

Additional Sessions Judge SJ Sharma,  who presides over a special CBI court, fixed the date of final hearing on Monday. 

"Let us begin final arguments from Monday," Judge Sharma told a battery of lawyers who are representing 22 accused facing trial in the politically-sensitive case. 

There were a total of 38 accused in the case of which 16 has been discharged - 15  by the special CBI court and one by the Bombay High Court.

Those discharged include BJP President and the then Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chandra Kataria and high-profile Deputy Inspector General DG Vanzara, who headed the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and known for several encounters.

During the course of the trial, 210 prosecution witnesses were examined - of which 92 had turned hostile.

On Friday, Judge Sharma wrapped up the recording of statements of the accused under section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). 

Since none of the accused presented details to bring in defence witnesses, he fixed a schedule of final arguments.

The judgement expected to be by the end of December. The accused mainly includes policemen of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Senior Inspectors, Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Head-Constables and Constables.

During their deposition, the cops had said that they are victims of the rivalry of top police officials and the prevailing political scenario. Top cops like the then Director General of Police Prashant Pande, then Inspector General Geeta Johri, then Additional Director General of Police Om Prakash Mathur,  Vanzara (all from Gujarat), then Superintendent of Police N Balasubramanian (Andhra Pradesh) and Superintendent of Police Dinesh MN (Rajasthan) and Vimal Patni, a marble businessman.

According to the CBI case, on 23 November 2005, when Sohrabuddin, Kausar Bi and Tulsiram was going in a bus from Hyderabad to Sangli, they were abducted by a joint team of Gujarat and Rajasthan police.

While Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi were taken to Gujarat and kept in different farmhouses, Tulsiram was taken to Udaipur in Rajasthan and arrested on 25 November 2005. On 26 November 2005, Sohrabuddin was killed in an alleged fake encounter between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, Kausar Bi was murdered and cremated in Illol in Banaskantha district. On 26 December 2006, when Tulsiram was being escorted from Rajasthan to Gujarat for a hearing, he escaped and later shot dead in  Chhapri in Amreli.

The ATS investigations were handed over to the State-CID and then CBI took over. Senior Inspector Abdur Rehman of Rajasthan police who allegedly shot Sohrabuddin and Ashish Pandya who shot Tulsiram, are among the accused. Investigating Officers like DSP ML Parmar and RK Patel too are accused.

 

 

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Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in crucial stage

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