The CBI has named former Gujarat minister Amit Shah as the prime accused and ‘kingpin’ who planned Tulsiram Prajapatis elimination because interrogating him in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case would have exposed the roles of high and mighty.
The chargesheet filed by CBI in the Tulsiram Prajapati encounter killing case was finally accepted by the magisterial court at Danta in Banaskantha district on Tuesday.
According to the chargesheet,former DGP P C Pande and additional DGP Geetha Johri abused their offices to eliminate Prajapati,an eye-witness to the killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi.
Sources said that according to CBI,all these three,along with retired DGP O P Mathur and former investigating officer (IO) R K Patel,had abused their official powers to delay probe into the Sohrabuddin encounter case.
The CBI,according to sources,seems to have found evidence of an alleged meeting Shah had called at Gandhinagar circuit house with P C Pande,retired DGP G C Raiger who was the then CID (crime) chief,and Geetha Johri while investigations into the Sohrabuddin case were under way. In the meeting,Shah,who was then the minister of state for home,is said to have expressed displeasure over certain notings and revelations made by V L Solanki of the CID (crime),the investigating officer in the case. Shah also allegedly instructed them to keep a watch on Solanki.
It has also reportedly come on record that Solanki had sought permission to interrogate Prajapati in the case. However,his report in this regard was delayed for three months by which time Prajapati was killed in the December 2006 encounter.
Meanwhile,the magisterial court in Danta on Tuesday allowed inspection of the chargesheet by the lawyers of the accused after it rejected their applications objecting to this courts jurisdiction of taking cognisance of this chargesheet. The accused had sought a stay on this order,which the court did not allow.
According to sources,Shah,the then state ATS chief D G Vanzara,ATS SP Rajkumar Pandian and the then Udaipur (Rajasthan) SP Dinesh M N were part of the core group that took the decision to eliminate Prajapati in an encounter.
On the role of then Gujarat DGP P C Pande,CBI has stated that he was close to Shah and when the Supreme Court ordered a probe into Sohrabuddins encounter killing,Pande just ordered an enquiry to be carried out by Geetha Johri. The CBI has also stated that Pande was rewarded with the post of chief of the Gujarat Police Housing Corporation.
The CBI has reportedly examined 343 witnesses in the case.
Interestingly,Mathur and R K Patel have been charged only for destruction of evidence and abusing their office to delay the probe in the Sohrabuddin killing case.
Meanwhile,Shah,Pande,Johri and Patel today filed applications asking why section 197 of the CrPC was not invoked by CBI to seek the state governments permission to prosecute its officials. The applications will be heard by the court on September 27.