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The 45th witness deposed in the special CBI court on Wednesday in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case. The man was a panch witness and was shown mud samples obtained by the Gujarat CID in 2007 from Illol village, where Kausarbi’s body was allegedly burnt by the accused. The witness told the court he owned a garage since 2002 and was approached by policemen in 2007 seeking help. He said he was taken to Illol village and was informed by the policemen that it was the spot where Sohrabuddin’s wife, Kausarbi was burnt. “Five samples were taken by the officials in my presence, including from the riverbed and the banks of the river. They were sealed and my signature was taken,” the witness told the court. The witness identified the river as Dhavri.
As per the panchnama, the mud samples from the spot were taken on May 2, 2007, nearly two years after the alleged murder in November 2005 to look for traces of any body parts. After initially stating that he may not be able to recognise the specific mud sample which was taken from the river, the witness recognised the samples shown to him and claimed that they were the same samples seized by the Gujarat CID.
During cross-examination, defence advocates questioned the witness about whether policemen regularly visited his garage and he was known to them, which he denied. Three witnesses are likely to depose on Thursday.