Amit Shah benefitted from Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, says former CBI officer
In a severe blow to the Modi government, Amitabh Thakur, the chief investigating officer in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh said BJP chief Amit Shah benefited politically from it
In a severe blow to the Modi government, Amitabh Thakur, the chief investigating officer in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Tulsiram Prajapati and the death of Kausar Bi said that BJP national president Amit Shah and four others benefited politically as well as financially from the fake encounter case. Thakur was deposing before a CBI court in Mumbai on Monday, November 19.
Apart from Shah, former Deputy Inspector-General of the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) DG Vanzara, former Superintendent of Police (Udaipur) Dinesh MN, former SP (Ahmedabad) Rajkumar Pandiyan, and former DCP (Ahmedabad) Abhay Chudasama had benefited politically, said Thakur.
He also told the the special CBI court that the 22 people named as accused had no “monetary or political motive” to carry out the killing.
He said Shah benefited financially as he was paid ₹70 lakh in three installments by the Patel brothers, owners of Popular Builders in Ahmedabad, according to a report on LiveLaw.
They were warned that if they did not pay the money, there would be dire consequences. He said Vanzara benefited monetarily as well, as he was paid ₹60 lakh by the Patel brothers.
Thakur denied that he was asked by the CBI director Ashwani Kumar to implicate all the 22 accused in the case.
On November 3, 2005, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi were travelling from Hyderabad to Ahmedabad. At 1.30 am the Gujarat ATS squad stopped the bus at Sangli, Maharashtra, and escorted them off the bus. Three days later, Sohrabuddin was shot dead in what was called an encounter by the then Gujarat DIG DG Vanzara
He said that no material existed about the 92 currency notes allegedly found on Sohrabuddin body and no was conducted regarding it and added that there was no evidence against the accused Balkrishnan Chaubey, former police sub-inspector of ATS Ahmedabad to file a charge-sheet.
The case, which was earlier handled by the Gujarat CID and later by the state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad, was handed over to the CBI in 2010 after Sohrabuddin younger brother, Rubabuddin Shaikh, moved the Supreme Court. Rubabuddin, who deposed before the special court last week, has also made several contradictory statements in his depositions.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ordered an investigation into as many as 22 alleged extra-judicial killings in Gujarat between 2003 and 2006. Among them was the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case which in 2010 led to the resignation and arrest of the then Gujarat Minister of State, Amit Shah. And although the CBI court gave the BJP President a clean chit in 2014.
On November 3, 2005, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi were travelling from Hyderabad to Ahmedabad. At 1.30 am the Gujarat ATS squad stopped the bus at Sangli, Maharashtra, and escorted them off the bus. Three days later, Sohrabuddin was shot dead in what was called an encounter by the then Gujarat DIG DG Vanzara.
A few weeks after the encounter, his brother Rababuddin wrote to the then Chief Justice of India that he was not convinced about how his brother died and was concerned about his sister-in-law Kausar Bi, who had also gone missing around the same time. After the Supreme Court got the letter, it ordered the Gujarat Police to conduct an investigation into Sohrabuddin’s killing and Kausar Bi’s disappearance.
It was initially reported that Kausar Bi had disappeared and later in 2007 the Gujarat government revealed to the Supreme Court that she was held in custody in two different farm houses and then strangled to death and cremated on November 28, 2005. She was also allegedly raped by a sub-inspector.
It must also be remembered that Judge BH Loya, who died under mysterious circumstances on December 1, 2014, 6.15 am, was the second judge who was supposed to hear the Sohrabbudin case. The case was first assigned to Judge JT Utpat, who was transferred before he was to appear in court. He had reprimanded Amit Shah for not being personally present in the court.