July 31, 2010 4:30:59 am
Filing a status report in the Supreme Court on its six-month investigation into the 2005 killing of alleged gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh,the CBI today sought immediate transfer of the case from Gujarat for a fair trial.
Quoting the report,sources said the CBI expressed apprehension that the influence of senior politicians and police officers could deprive the agency of a conducive atmosphere to investigate further or prosecute.
The agency sought permission from the Supreme Court for further investigation into the involvement of the political leadership of both Gujarat and Rajasthan in the alleged fake encounter.
Sources said the involvement of the political leadership could go beyond arrested Gujarat minister Amit Shah. CBI,the sources said,was looking at documents which allegedly have references to others.
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The agency is looking at the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati who was reportedly accompanying Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi in a bus when they were taken away by Gujarat police.
Sources said the killing of Prajapati took place just when the then investigating officer,Geeta Johri,had decided to examine him as a witness to the kidnapping. Sources confirmed that the political leadership in Rajasthan was also under the scanner.
Incidentally,the Prajapati chargesheet filed today is viewed within the CBI circles as an attempt to dissuade former Dy SP N K Amin from turning approver in the Sohrabuddin case. Amin,who is already an accused in the Sheikh encounter case,does not find mention in the Prajapati case chargesheet,sources said.
The CBI expects that the statements of police officers who have been summoned,including P C Pande,O P Mathur and Geeta Johri,will shed some light on the role of the political leadership that goes beyond Shah.
Pande retired as Director of Anti-Corruption Bureau while Mathur retired as Director General,Communication. Mathur was one of the officers under whose supervision the Sohrabuddin case was investigated by the CID (Crime).
Senior advocate K T S Tulsi,who is representing the CBI,said all accused are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
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