A team of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) on Saturday reconstructed the alleged fake encounter killing of Tulsi Prajapati by the Gujarat police in December, 2006, at Chhapri village in Banaskantha district close to the Gujarat-Rajasthan border.

The Gujarat police claimed that Prajapati, believed to be a key witness in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case being reinvestigated by the CBI, had escaped from custody on his way to Rajasthan from the Raigadh railway station and was gunned down near Chhapri on December 28, 2006.

The CBI-CFSL team was assisted by the State CID, which had been handling the case before the Supreme Court transferred it to the central agency following a petition by Prajapati's mother, Narmadabai.

The CBI has by far maintained that Prajapati's murder was a sequel to that of Sohrabuddin Sheikh which landed several senior IPS officers of the State and Rajasthan, besides the then Minister of State for Home, Amit Shah, in jail. Mr Shah, now on bail, has been barred by the Supreme Court from entering Gujarat.

The CBI, it is learnt, believed that Mr Shah was also behind the encounter killing of Prajapati, who was an acquaintance of Sohrabuddin. Mr. Shah ordered an out-of-turn transfer of “encounter-specialist” D. G. Vanzara as DIG, border range, which has jurisdiction over Banaskantha district. Within 10 days of Mr. Vanzara taking over, Prajapati, who then was in the Udaipur jail, was summoned to Ahmedabad in connection with an old case and was killed in an “encounter” while being taken back to Rajasthan.

A year earlier, in November 2005, Sohrabuddin, an extortionist, and his wife were whisked away from a Hyderabad-Sangli bus by the police and later killed in Gujarat.