Sohrabuddin ‘fake encounter’ case: Witness who helped Tulsiram send assault complaint turns hostile

The witness, an advocate practising in a court in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, was declared hostile by the prosecution after he denied what he had reportedly told the CBI earlier.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai | Published: May 17, 2018 3:23:56 am
The court on Tuesday issued a bailable warrant against a witness after he did not appear for his deposition. (Representational Image) 

A witness in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati on Wednesday told the court that he had helped Tulsiram send complaints about being assaulted in Udaipur jail in 2012. Tulsiram was killed in an alleged fake encounter on December 28, 2006. The witness, an advocate practising in a court in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, was declared hostile by the prosecution after he denied what he had reportedly told the CBI earlier. Another witness deposed on the same point but gave a different statement.

On Wednesday, both witnesses from Madhya Pradesh were summoned to the court at 11 am but they reached only at 12.30 pm. When special judge SJ Sharma asked about the delay, the witnesses said they had gone for “a darshan at a temple” after reaching Mumbai. During deposition of the first witness, he said he was introduced to Tulsiram by his associate, the second witness. “He told me he was assaulted by an enemy prisoner in jail but his grievance was not heard by the jail authorities and hence he wanted to write to other authorities. He brought to me 3-4 envelopes and asked me to write addresses on them, including one of the Udaipur collector,” the witness told the court. He said that while he did not remember the exact date, it was in the year 2012. He further said he had then got a junior advocate to post the letters. In his statement, recorded by the CBI, the witness had said that in May 2006, Tulsiram had approached him with his complaint and that he had typed it. On Wednesday, he denied typing it or knowing the contents of the letter.

The second witness, however, told the court that the advocate had typed the letter. He said he knew Tulsiram and Sohrabuddin as he had been their co-inmate in jail for a year. He said that after his release, he had subsequently read in the papers about Sohrabuddin’s death in an encounter. He further said he had met Tulsiram while he was brought for a court hearing to Ujjain. He further said that after Tulsiram told him about being assaulted in jail, he had taken him to the advocate and had helped him in posting the letter. The first witness had denied this and claimed that Tulsiram had approached him directly. Further, while the witness, in his statement before the CBI had claimed that Tulsiram had told him about danger to his life as he was a witness to the “abduction” of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausarbi in November 2005 and that he was assaulted in jail for this reason, the witness neither deposed on this, nor was asked about it during his deposition. He identified the carbon copy of the letter written by Prajapati when shown a copy of it before the court. This witness was not declared hostile.

Meanwhile, the CBI submitted a list of 50 witnesses that it will be examining next. The court on Tuesday issued a bailable warrant against a witness after he did not appear for his deposition. So far, 87 witnesses have deposed of whom 59 have been declared hostile for not supporting the prosecution.

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