A key witness in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati sent a letter to the court through his wife on Monday, claiming that pressure was being mounted on him from various quarters and there was a threat to his life.
Along with Sohrabuddin and Prajapati, the 40-year-old prosecution witness was a co-accused in the Hamid Lala murder case. He was a close friend of Sohrabuddin and also an inmate at Udaipur central jail when Prajapati was lodged there till the latter’s death in an alleged encounter in December 2006. The CBI had earlier summoned the man but he was not traceable.
On Monday, his 36-year-old wife deposed as a prosecution witness and handed over a one-page letter in Hindi, which she said had been written by her husband. She told the court that her husband was facing a lot of pressure against deposing before the court.
“The police have registered five false cases against him to put pressure on him. All these recent cases have only been filed to ensure he does not appear as a witness in this case. Rajneta aur police unpe pressure dal rahe hai gawaahi na dene ke liye (Politicians and police are putting pressure on him against deposing in the case). He wants to come and depose but his safety should be assured,” she told the court. She requested that her husband be safely brought to court and escorted back.
The CBI had earlier told the court that since he was a wanted accused in several cases in Rajasthan, he had not been traceable. He is supposed to depose before the court this week as per schedule.
In the letter addressed to the court and the prosecution, the man said he knew the truth about the alleged encounters and wanted to appear before the court as a witness. He further said he was scared of coming to the court as he feared that he would also be killed in an encounter or will be falsely implicated in a criminal case.
Earlier, a Rajasthan-based lawyer who represented Prajapati had also expressed threat to his life in February and sought protection.