Three witnesses were examined on Monday by the prosecution in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case and two of them were declared hostile, taking the count of hostile witnesses to 30 in the case. The two men were made panch witnesses by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad on November 26, 2005 in Ahmedabad.
On Monday, the two identified their signatures on panchnama documents and also submitted that a policeman at the ATS office had shown them six sealed bottles that had samples of body parts of Sohrabuddin. The prosecutor, however, declared them hostile when they denied having met Mukesh Parmar, the then ATS deputy superintendent of police at the ATS office, who is now an accused in the case.
In their statements to CBI on April 9, 2010, the men had said they were going to a Hanuman temple on November 26, 2005, a day after Sohrabuddin’s alleged fake encounter killing, when they were stopped by two policemen who took them to the ATS office. They were told they could help police by becoming panch witnesses.
In their 2010 statement, the two men had claimed they were introduced to Parmar, who had instructed them that the samples included the viscera of Sohrabuddin, that it was being seized for further investigation and he had asked the two to become panch witnesses. The statement also claims that the panchnama was drawn in Parmar’s cabin by another person in civil clothes. In their statements recorded by the Gujarat CID in 2007, however, they had not stated anything about Parmar.
“I did not meet Dy SP Parmar in the office of ATS. It is not true that we were introduced. It is not true that he is at present sitting in court and I know him. Jaanta hi nahi toh kaise pechaan sakta hoon (I do not know him, then how can I recognise him?),” one of the two witnesses said in court. The other witness who turned hostile also said that while he may have been told that there was a “bade sahab (senior officer)”, he was not introduced to anyone.
The third witness was also a panch witness pertaining to weapons seized from Rajasthan police allegedly used in the encounter of Sohrabuddin. The witness said he had gone to the police bhavan in April 2007 as a panch witness. The witness identified two pistols and a revolver. While the witness had said in his statement only three firearms were seized, the sealed packets opened in court also had bullets and cartridges.