A witness deposing before the court on Thursday denied that policemen — the accused in the 2006 Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter — had asked him to arrange a car to go to Palanpur, where the encounter took place. The witness was declared hostile as he had denied the statement given to the CBI in 2012. As per the CBI chargesheet, the witness had given two statements — in 2011 and 2012. The claim about the accused asking him to arrange for a car, was made in the 2012 statement.
The CBI alleged that as Prajapati was a witness to the abduction of his associate Sohrabuddin and his wife, Kausarbi, in November 2005, the accused had conspired to kill him. A conspiracy was, therefore, planned showing that Prajapati had tried to escape from custody while being taken in a train from Ahmedabad to Udaipur on December 27, 2006. He was then shown killed in an encounter two days later at Palanpur. In his statement to the CBI in 2012, the witness had said he was called by a railway police constable on December 27, 2006 and was asked to arrange a car for some policemen to travel to Palanpur. He had said he contacted a man he knew and arranged the car. On Thursday, however, the witness denied knowing the man as well as the constable. He also denied having anything to do with car rentals, a fact mentioned in his statement.
On Thursday, the witness told the court that he had been working as a parking attendant in 2006 at Himmat Nagar railway station in Gujarat and was called to act as a panch witness by an official of the Government Railway Police. He told the court that the police had shown him a mobile phone and sealed it before him. He said he had not been told anything about the phone and his signatures were taken on some pages. He said the contents of the panchnama prepared at that time were read out to him then but he did not remember anything now. He identified three policemen in the courtroom on Thursday, claiming they had been present at the time of the panchnama in 2006. Assistant sub-inspector Narayan Singh, as well as police constables Yudhvir Singh and Kartar Singh, were identified by the witness. The second witness, who was also a fruit vendor, and the signatory to the panchnama on the seizure of the mobile phone, also identified the trio. The accused claimed to have seized the phone after the escape of Prajapati from the train.
The second witness was not declared hostile. While the first witness told the court that his statement was not recorded by the CBI, the second one said it was not read out or explained to him. So far, 115 witnesses have deposed, of which 73 have been declared hostile.