The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday submitted in the Supreme Court its status report in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and sought a three-month extension for completing the probe.
Informed sources told The Hindu that the report, filed in a sealed cover, indicated that the case was to be shifted out of Gujarat as investigation involving politicians and police officers could not be carried out in the State impartially. A separate transfer application would be filed.
According to the CBI, political leadership in both Gujarat and Rajasthan might be involved in the conspiracy, resulting in the encounter. The involvement of political leadership might go beyond the former Gujarat Minister of State for Home, Amit Shah, with the CBI probing documents which allegedly “have references to Chief Minister Narendra Modi.”
The CBI, according to the sources, also sought permission to re-investigate the alleged fake encounter killing of Tulsiram Prajapati, said to be a key witness in the case of killing of Sohrabuddin. As the Sohrabuddin and Prajapati cases were interlinked, they must be probed together. Acting on a writ petition filed by Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin Sheikh, the court in January entrusted the case to the CBI with a direction to complete the probe in six months.
The status report indicates the investigation so far carried out since the CBI filed a fresh first information report on February 1, including the statements of key witnesses and officials of the Gujarat CID and the details of the arrest of Mr. Amit Shah and other police officers.
The former DIG, D.B. Vanzara; another IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre, Rajkumar Pandiyan; and Dinesh M.N. (of the Rajasthan cadre) are the main accused in the case. Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausarbi were picked up by the police of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh from a bus when they were going to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad on November 22, 2005. He was gunned down in a fake encounter by the Gujarat police's Anti-Terrorist Squad, which claimed that he had come to eliminate Chief Minister Modi. The accused were also alleged to have killed Kausar Bi and their accomplice, Tulsiram Prajapati, to destroy evidence.