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Encounter Case: Sohrabuddin’s Brother Wants to Become Witness

53 out of 80 witnesses examined in the trial of Sohrabuddin-Prajapati alleged fake encounter cases turned hostile.

Updated
India
2 min read
Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Kausar Bi.
i

Shahnawazuddin Shaikh on Thursday, 10 May, approached a special CBI court in Mumbai, seeking to depose in the trial related to the alleged fake encounter of his brother Sohrabuddin in November 2005.

Tulsiram Prajapati, Sohrabuddin's aide, had told him about being an eyewitness to Sohrabuddin's death and that he feared for his own life, the application filed by Shahnawazuddin said.

The plea, filed before special judge SJ Sharma, sought that Shahnawazuddin be made a witness.

He learnt recently that the CBI had failed to include him as a witness and to produce "the material seized from him", the application said.

This "material" was four blank pages signed by Prajapati, who himself died in another fake encounter, it said.

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The CBI seized these blank pages, and the "circumstances in which these four documents were signed by Prajapati" are relevant for the trial, the plea said.

Shahnawazuddin met Prajapati in Ujjain in September-October 2006, when Prajapati had been brought to be produced before a local court, the application said.

Prajapati apologised to Shahnawazuddin for having been instrumental in the murder of Sohrabuddin, it claimed.

Prajapati told Shahnawazuddin that he helped police nab Sohrabuddin, as (Gujarat police officer) Abhay Chudasama had assured him that Sohrabuddin would be arrested in a petty case and kept in jail for a short period before being released. It was necessary to arrest him due to political pressure, Chudasama told Prajapati, according to the application.

Prajapati expressed apprehension that he was likely to be murdered as he was an eyewitness to the abduction of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi, the application said.

Prajapati gave Rubabuddin, another brother of Sohrabuddin, two signed blank sheets and asked him to move the Supreme Court and high court to seek their intervention. He gave four signed blank pages to Shahnawazuddin and he could "somehow use them to save his life", the application said.

As Shahnawazuddin was witness to the “words uttered by him (Prajapati)“, he should be examined by the court, it said. The court asked the CBI to file a reply by the next month.

As many as 80 witnesses have been examined in the trial of Sohrabuddin-Prajapati alleged fake encounters case, and of them 53 have turned hostile.

Sohrabuddin, a suspected gangster with alleged terror links, and his wife were killed in an alleged fake encounter by Gujarat police in November 2005, while Prajapati was killed in another alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in December 2006.

Of the 38 people charged by the CBI, 15, including senior IPS officers DG Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, Dinesh MN, and BJP president Amit Shah (then minister of state for home in Gujarat) were discharged by the court in Mumbai.

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