In the alleged fake encounters case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, two witnesses deposed on Wednesday, pertaining to Prajapati’s visit to Ahmedabad on November 25, 2006. The first witness, a booking clerk at Udaipur city railway station, told the court that on November 25, 2006, he was presented with railway warrants against which he issued tickets to four policemen and two undertrials for a journey from Udaipur to Ahmedabad.
On being shown a copy of the warrant, the witness identified that he had issued tickets to sub-inspector, Narayan Singh and constables Yudhvir Singh, Kartar Singh and Dalpat Singh.
The CBI alleges that these four, three of whom are currently facing trial for the alleged fake encounter of Prajapati, were part of the escort team, which had taken him to Ahmedabad. Dalpat Singh was discharged in 2017.
The police team had later claimed that on the intervening night of November 26 and 27, Prajapati had thrown chilli powder into their eyes and escaped from the railway compartment they were travelling in. On the next day, he was killed in an encounter, they claimed.
The CBI, however, alleges that this was a staged conspiracy and Prajapati was detained and killed by the accused as he was witness to the abduction of his associate Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausarbi in November 2005.
The booking clerk told the court that as his job was only to be issuing the tickets and he had no knowledge of whether the journey was actually undertaken. He identified the names of undertrials Prajapati and Mohammed Azam, to whom the tickets were issued, based on the warrant.
It was pointed out to the witness that a cross was put against the name of Azam, but the witness said that he did not know whether or not Azam had travelled on the train, though a ticket was issued to him.
The CBI claims that as part of the conspiracy, Azam, a co-accused of Prajapati was arrested in another case, so that he would not travel with Prajapati on that day.
The second witness on Wednesday was the then jailer of Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad. On being shown the jail register, the witness told the court that there was an entry of a prisoner named Tulsiram Prajapati being brought to the jail on November 25/26, 2006, at 5.40am.
The register showed an entry of the prisoner being taken out of the prison at 9,10pm on November 26, 2006 by Narayan Singh.
The witness also told the court that the prisoner was being taken to Udaipur central prison.
The witness also corroborated an entry mentioned in the video conference court attendance, which showed that Prajapati was produced before a court in Ahmedabad through video-conference link from the jail.
The CBI has so far examined 103 witnesses in the case.
Relief for IPS officer
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday continued the interim stay granted on the trial against Gujarat IPS officer Vipul Aggarwal.
Aggarwal, who was a SP in Gujarat in 2005, has filed an appeal before the Bombay High Court against the trial court’s order rejecting his discharge application on November 7, 2017.
The High Court will hear Aggarwal’s petition along with the others accused whose discharge is challenged by the CBI. The matters are posted on June 22. (With inputs from ENS)