Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah — chargesheeted by the CBI as one of the prime accused in the case of Sohrabuddin fake encounter and murder of his wife Kausarbi — resigned from the Narendra Modi Cabinet on Saturday.

Mr. Shah, who has remained untraceable since Friday, sent in his resignation to Mr. Modi's official residence here in the morning. The Chief Minister, who had left for Delhi to attend the National Development Council meeting, said he was informed of the resignation and that he was “accepting it.” Mr. Modi said he would send the resignation letter to the Governor with his recommendation after he returned to Gandhinagar.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation intensified its efforts to arrest Mr. Shah. Besides sending police teams to different parts of the State, the CBI is understood to have issued a general alert to all airports to keep a watch for him.

Mr. Shah is believed to be trying to buy time till Monday, when he is expected to approach the Gujarat High Court as the designated CBI court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail on Friday.

Government sources said Mr. Shah was unlikely to surrender before approaching the High Court as both Mr. Modi and the BJP high command were fully backing him, terming the CBI probe a “political war.”

"Fabricated charges"

Speaking to the media in New Delhi, Mr. Modi said Mr. Shah was “totally innocent” and all charges against him were “fabricated.” The Chief Minister assured Mr. Shah of “full support” by him and the party in the “political battle,” while he would have to face the “legal fight” in courts. Mr. Modi said Mr. Shah had full respect for the judiciary and was confident that he would get justice from court.