The probe into alleged fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausarbi in 2005 may hit a roadblock as Gujarat government has refused to hand over details about another death of a person in an encounter with police, which CBI claimed was linked to the shootout of the duo.
CBI had approached Gujarat government for handing over the details of the case pertaining to police encounter of Tulsi Prajapati, an undertrial who was lodged at Udaipur jail.
According to the police, he was killed while he tried to escape from custody while being shifted from Rajasthan to Gujarat.
However, his killing had raised many eyebrows as he was perceived to be a sole witness to the killing of Sohrabuddin and his wife. They both were labelled as gangsters.
CBI, which is investigating into the Sohrabuddin case, had asked Gujarat government to provide them with evidence pertaining to Tulsi’s encounter. It was, however, turned down on the ground that CBI was directed by the Supreme Court to investigate only Sohrabuddin’s killing.
Tulsi was eliminated by Gujarat police in an encounter in Banaskantha district and the police had said the accused was trying to escape after firing at the personnel escorting him, a claim challenged by the forensic laboratory report and the Railway Police.
According to the investigations, Prajapati had written a letter from Rajasthan jail to his brother in which he had claimed that he was the lone witness to the “cold-blooded murder” of Sohrabuddin and Kausarbi and Gujarat police was scheming to kill him. The deceased had asked his kin to file a writ petition in Rajasthan High Court to prevent his transfer back to Gujarat police.
However, before any such move could be made, Prajapati was killed in an encounter.
CBI wants the forensic documents, which has questioned the claims of Gujarat police that three people threw chilly powder on the police party escorting Prajapati back to Rajasthan by train and got him released. They also reportedly fired at the policemen on duty.
However, Railway Police had reported that no chilly powder was thrown on policemen escorting Prajapati and the weapon recovered from the deceased was declared by the Forensic Scientific Laboratory as “jammed” and unable to fire.
The bullet injuries on the cops were believed by the experts as self-inflicted.
CBI had registered a case last month against Gujarat police officials to probe the alleged fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Kausarbi in 2005 and the case was taken up on directions of the Supreme Court, which came down heavily on Gujarat government for failing to conduct impartial investigations and attempting to “mislead” the apex court by filing conflicting action taken reports (ATRs).