MeraNews Network, Mumbai: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai acquitted all the 22 accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounters, which was alleged to be extra-judicial. The court ruled that there weren’t enough satisfactory evidences and witnesses to prove a conspiracy behind the killings.
The CBI court judge SJ Sharma also observed that the government machinery and prosecution had put in a lot of effort and 210 witnesses were brought in but many witnesses turned hostile and satisfactory evidence didn't come and it is not the fault of prosecutor if witnesses don't speak. Most of the accused were policemen belonging to Rajasthan and Gujarat Police.
The CBI court had previously discharged IPS officers Abhay Chudasama, DG Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian of Gujarat and Dinesh MN from Rajasthan, and former Gujarat and Rajasthan state home ministers Amit Shah and Gulabchand Kataria respectively, who were accused of hatching a conspiracy for this encounter for political and financial gains.
Sohrabuddin Shaikh, a Rajasthan-based gangster, was killed in an encounter near Ahmedabad by the Gujarat Police in November 2005. The police claimed that Shaikh was a LeT operative and was planning to assassinate the then chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi. Tulsiram Prajapati, and aide of Sohrabuddin, also belonging to Rajasthan, was encountered in a similar fashion on December 27, 2006 near the Rajasthan border. The cops had claimed that Prajapati was killed in a an encounter after he tried to escape police custody while being taken to Rajasthan from Ahmedabad after a court hearing.
Shaikh’s wife Kauser Bi, who was with him and Prajapati when they were picked up by the Gujarat ATS from a bus near Sangli in Maharashtra has been missing since, suspected to be killed off and cremated.