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Sohrabuddin: witness got threat calls

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Says Rajasthani politicians, Gujarat police tried to discourage her from deposing

Mumbai: A witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases on Monday said she had received threatening phone calls from “Rajasthani politicians and Gujarat police officials” to discourage her and her husband from giving their testimonies.

Rizwana Khan testified before a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court that in April 2005, her husband Mohammad Azad Khan had been detained in connection with the murder of Hamid Lala, a gangster from Udaipur. She said that Mr. Khan would travel in custody from Central Jail, Udaipur to Sabarmati Jail for attending proceedings in a magistrate court in Ahmedabad, and she used to accompany him. She said she often saw Prajapati travelling under custody in the same compartment.

On being asked by CBI prosecutor B.P. Raju about what kind of a person she thought Prajapati was, she said, “He seemed like a normal and simple man.”

She also said that in December 2006, after a hearing in an Ahmedabad court, police officials tried to not allow her to travel back to Udaipur in the same compartment as Mr. Khan and Prajapati, but eventually allowed them because chaos had ensued at Ahmedabad railway station and members of the press were present there.

After this incident, Ms. Khan made a request to the then Superintendent of Police, Dinesh MN, an accused in the case who was discharged last year to ensure her husband’s safety. In the next court hearing in December 2006, Prajapati and Ms. Khan were made to travel in separate trains when they were returning from Ahmedabad,

“Two to four days later, I read in the newspapers that Prajapati had been killed in an encounter. If my husband would have travelled with him in the same train, he would probably have been killed too,” said Ms. Khan.

Towards the end of her testimony, she submitted a letter written by her husband to Judge S.J. Sharma. Ms. Khan said she and her husband have received several threatening phone calls at her residence from Rajasthani politicians and Gujarat police officials trying to discourage both of them from testifying, by saying they would be killed in a similar encounter.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 8:09:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/states/sohrabuddin-witness-got-threat-calls/article24256964.ece

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