The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday arrested the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), Abhay Chudasma, in connection with the alleged fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and mysterious disappearance of his wife, Kausarbi.
Mr. Chudasma is the fourth IPS officer to be arrested in this connection, but this is the first arrest effected by the CBI since the case was transferred to it by the Supreme Court on January 12 this year.
The CBI, Mumbai, which was investigating the case, lodged an FIR on February 1.
Mr. Chudasma was taken to the CBI Gandhinagar office for questioning and was expected to be produced in the special CBI court on Thursday for remand.
He is the 15th police officer to be arrested in the case. Fourteen police officials — including the principal accused, the former Deputy Inspector-General of Police, D.G. Vanzara, and Rajkumar Pandian — both Gujarat IPS cadre, and Dinesh Kumar M.N. of the Rajasthan cadre, have been languishing in jail.
CBI DIG P. Kandaswamy confirmed that Mr. Chudasma was arrested allegedly for participating in the conspiracy to abduct and murder Sohrabuddin, and in the mysterious disappearance of his wife Kausarbi, who the police believe was also murdered and her body disposed of in Mr. Vanzara's farmhouse in his native village in Sabarkantha district.
At the time of the alleged fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in November, 2005, Mr. Chudasma was posted as the Superintendent of Police at Bulsar in south Gujarat, after which he was transferred as DCP Zone I, Ahmedabad, and later to the State Anti-Corruption Bureau, before becoming DCP (Crime Branch).
Mr. Chudasma is alleged to have conspired with senior police officers in the fake encounter and is also claimed to have actively influenced important witnesses to conceal facts and give false statements.