The wife of a key witness in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter case has claimed her husband, currently in judicial custody in Rajasthan, was being threatened to give evidence in favour of the accused. She said her husband was arrested over 10 days ago by Udaipur police in Delhi and was currently being held in prison in Rajasthan, she said.
The witness was Tulsiram’s co-prisoner before his alleged encounter in December 2006 and was a co-accused along with Tulsiram and Sohrabuddin in the murder case of a man named Hamid Lala. The CBI had previously summoned him to appear as witness but had told the court that he was named absconding in a few cases and was not traceable. “I met my husband in custody and he told me that he is ready to give evidence in court. He said he was being threatened with dire consequences and pressured to give evidence in favour of the accused and not against them. He was earlier threatened in police custody and is now being threatened in prison,” she said.
She said she had given an application in court, seeking police protection for him to appear before court. She has stated in the application that her husband was booked in about nine false cases and had been “arrested deliberately”.
In June, when she had come before the special court to herself depose as a witness, she had brought a letter purported to be from her husband, in which she claimed politicians and police were putting pressure on him against deposing.
Nearly 10 days since his arrest, the prosecution made an application before the court on Monday, seeking a production warrant in the name of the 36-year old witness. The court directed that the witness be brought in police protection to depose. According to the CBI probe, the witness in question had been escorted along with Tulsiram multiple times from Udaipur jail where they were lodged together to court hearings in Ahmedabad.
The CBI claims during the trip when the accused policemen claimed that Tulsiram escaped from custody and subsequently was shown to have been killed in a staged encounter, this witness was also with him, but was shown arrested in another case.
Meanwhile, the prosecution informed the court that Narmadabai, mother of Tulsiram, who was to depose as a witness on Monday, was not found at her residence.