Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Arjun Modhvadia has questioned the transfer of Anti-Terrorism Squad chief and “encounter specialist” D.G. Vanzara as Inspector-General of the Border Range Police days before the encounter killing of Tulsiram Prajapati on December 28, 2006.

Releasing documents on police transfers, the former Leader of the Opposition said the then investigating officer in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, V.L. Solanki, sought permission from CID (Crime) police chief O.P. Mathur on December 13, 2006 to record Prajapati's statement. Mr. Solanki wanted to investigate whether Prajapati was the “third person” believed to have been pulled out of a Hyderabad-Sangli bus by the Gujarat police along with Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauserbi. Mr. Mathur's permission was necessary because at that time Prajapati was in police custody in Udaipur, and Mr. Solanki was required to travel to Rajasthan.

But Mr. Mathur refused him permission and two days later Mr. Vanzara was transferred to the border range police, which has jurisdiction over Banaskantha district, where Prajapati was killed in the encounter, the Congress leader said. Pointing out that Mr. Vanzara's was the lone transfer that day, Mr. Modhvadia questioned the need for the sudden shifting effected by the Narendra Modi government.

The Congress leader claimed that on more than one occasion Prajapati had expressed apprehension before the Udaipur court and to some police officials that he would be eliminated in an encounter by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police. Mr. Modhvadia demanded that the CBI investigate the issue.

Meanwhile, the CBI, in its Sohrabuddin encounter inquiry, has stumbled on the fact that the body was “washed” by the police before it was inspected by an executive magistrate in the civil hospital here during an inquest. He was killed in a fake encounter on November 26, 2005 near Ahmedabad.

CBI sources said washing the body was against the custom as the magistrate was required to record blood marks and flow of blood.

Bullet marks don't match

Moreover, the Forensic Science Laboratory found that bullet marks on the body did not match with the bullet holes found in the clothes Sohrabuddin was wearing at the time. The clothes carried more holes than the bullet marks on the body.

In another development, Gopinath Pillai, father of Javed Sheikh, one of the four victims in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, on Friday filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court requesting it to take up the investigation at the earliest.

College girl Ishrat Jahan, Javed and two others were killed in an encounter near Ahmedabad in 2004.

At the instance of the Supreme Court, the High Court appointed a Special Investigation Team for a fresh probe into the Ishrat Jahan case. The SIT was supposed to have completed the probe by November last, but it is yet to submit its report to the court.

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