In the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter case, a senior police officer from Rajasthan was declared hostile on Monday after he claimed that two Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials had coerced him to give a false statement.
The officer was the 62nd witness to not support the prosecution in the case from among 91 witnesses examined so far.
The officer is also the fourth witness from Rajasthan police claiming to have been pressured by the
The officer, currently deputy superintendent of the Rajasthan police, was the Station House Officer of Hathipole police station in Udaipur in 2005 and was the investigating officer of the Hamid Lala murder case, where Tulsiram and Sohrabuddin were named as absconding accused.
The main contradiction of the officer with the prosecution case was that while the CBI claims Tulsiram was arrested by Rajasthan police on November 26, 2005, the officer claimed on Monday that it was on November 29, 2005.
The CBI claims Tulsiram was abducted along with Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausarbi on November 23, 2005 and while Sohrabuddin was killed in an alleged fake encounter on November 26, Tulsiram was taken to Rajasthan but was shown arrested only on November 29 to ensure there is no suspicion of the two cases being connected.
The witness told the court on Monday that two CBI officials told him he should lie about the date while giving a statement before the magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
“The CBI officials put a lot of pressure on me. I was threatened that I will be shown as an accused in the case. With fear of being arrested, I lied about the date of Tulsiram’s arrest to be 26th November,”the witness told the court.
The witness also told the court that while CBI officials had summoned him multiple times, his statement was never recorded by them.
The CBI, however, claims the witness gave three statements. On the date, however, the statements of the CBI itself are contradictory with one statement allegedly recorded in 2010 that the date of Tulsiram’s arrest was November 26 and another in 2011, stating it as November 29.
The witness also denied other parts of his statement including having told the CBI that the then Superintendent of Police, Udaipur, Dinesh MN, had visited Ahmedabad in November 2005, to arrest Sohrabuddin. In his earlier CBI statement, the officer had allegedly claimed, “Despite being an IO of this case (Hamid Lala murder case), I was not even informed and was also not taken to Ahmedabad for arresting Sohrabuddin. I came to know of the encounter only after the police team including Dinesh MN returned from Ahmedabad,” the witness had said earlier.
He denied making any mention about this. Dinesh MN was discharged from the case in 2017.
Meanwhile, the special CBI court cancelled warrants issued against four accused on May 18 after they failed to be present in court.
The court directed each of the four accused to pay Rs 5,000, including Rs 1,500 to be paid to the two witnesses, who could not depose due to absence of the accused, as compensation.