The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought the Supreme Court’s nod to probe former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah’s role in the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati, an eyewitness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
In its final probe report on Sohrabuddin case, submitted to the court recently, the CBI had expressed suspicion that Shah, a close aide of Chief Minister Narender Modi, could be involved in Prajapati’s killing.
Sohrabuddin, an alleged gangster, was killed in November 2005 by Gujarat Police. The policemen are alleged to have subsequently killed his wife Kauser Bi and accomplice Tulsiram Prajapati as they were said to have been eyewitnesses to the killing.
The agency has expressed the suspicion about Shah’s involvement in eliminating Prajapati on December 28, 2006 following an analysis of ex—minister’s telephone call records between December 20 and 31, 2006.
“The analysis of the mobile call details reveal that as many as 16 calls had been exchanged between Shah and Raj Kumar Pandian (a police officer arrested for Sohrabuddin’s killing) just before and after the encounter of Tulsiram Prajapati (on December 28, 2006),” said the CBI in its probe report to the court.
The agency maintained that the frequency of the calls are “unnatural, uncommon and not part of the official duty of Shah as a state minister.”
Further, “as per the protocol, a minister talks to the home secretary and not to a Superintendent of Police level officer,” said the CBI.
“In order to prevent the abuse of the process of law and to come to the core of the most heinous of crimes, prima facie committed by the high level officials of Gujarat, the investigation of the Tulsiram Prajapati encounter case also needs to be transferred to the CBI,” the agency said.
“If the case is not transferred, the actual perpetrators of the conspiracy behind the cold—blooded murders may go scot free,” it said.
Underlining the motive behind Prajapati’s killing, the CBI said in the report, “The evidence required so far shows that Prajapati encounter took place as he was the prime witness to the Sohrabuddin’s abduction.
“Accordingly, it is eminently required in the interest of justice that Prajapati fake encounter case be investigated and tried along with Sohrabuddin fake encounter case,”it said.
“As such both these cold—blooded murders are inter— connected, they ought not to be tried separately as it may give rise to conflicting findings and end up derailing and frustrating the interest of justice,” the CBI said.
The CBI claimed that Gujarat police which probed the killing of Prajapati, recently filed its charge sheet in the case hurriedly to “obfuscate facts” and “shield” powerful accused.
It said its probe into the killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife has revealed that Prajapati was picked up by a joint team of Gujarat and Rajasthan Police to trace Sohrabuddin about 20 days prior to his encounter.
“Sohrabuddin and his wife were abducted later on the information provided by Prajapati,” the CBI said adding, “The police team had promised to him that they will not harm Sohrabuddin.”
The State police arrested Gujarat Police Anti—Terrorist Squad chief and Deputy Inspector General D. G. Vanjara, already held for killing Sohrabuddin, on charges of killing Prajapati also on May 3 this year.
The CBI claimed the police hurriedly concluded its probe into Prajapati killing and arrested Vanjara once it became clear to it that CBI has reached close to unravelling “the powerful accused’s (Shah’s) involvement” in Prajapati murder.