BJP president Amit Shah. File
BJP president Amit Shah. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

CBI officer deposes on fake encounter

Amitabh Thakur, former Superintendent of Police in the CBI, Gandhinagar, and chief investigating officer in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in November 2005, said then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah had benefited politically and monetarily from the case. Mr Thakur was deposing before a CBI court here on Monday.

Apart from Mr Shah, former Deputy Inspector-General of the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) D.G. Vanzara, former Superintendent of Police (Udaipur) Dinesh M.N., former Superintendent of Police (Ahmedabad) Rajkumar Pandiyan, and former Deputy Commissioner of Police (Ahmedabad) Abhay Chudasama had benefited politically, Mr. Thakur said.

He said Mr. Shah benefited financially as he was paid ₹70 lakh by the Patel brothers, owners of Popular Builders in Ahmedabad.

They were warned that if they did not pay the money, there would be dire consequences. He said Mr. Vanzara benefited monetarily as well, as he was paid ₹60 lakhs by the Patel brothers.

He also said that none of the police officers facing trial in the case had any “political or monetary benefit from the encounter.” He also agreed that there were no political motives for the current accused to kill Sohrabuddin. He also mentioned that all the 20 accused were acting under the directions of their superiors Mr. Vanzara, Mr. Pandiyan, Mr. Dinesh and Mr Chudasma, and all of these had been discharged in the case.

Mr. Thakur denied that he was asked by the Director of CBI Ashwani Kumar to implicate all the 22 accused in the case. Mr. Thakur also denied that he and his superior DIG P Khantaswamy, was asked by Mr Kumar, to implicate all the 20 accused in the case for political mileage.

He said that no material existed about the 92 currency notes allegedly found on Sohrabuddin’s body and no investigation was conducted regarding it.

He also said there was no evidence against accused Balkrishnan Chaubey, former police sub-inspector of ATS Ahmedabad to file a charge-sheet.

He rebutted the testimony of Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin that eight bullet marks were found on his brother’s body and s

He added that around two to three bullets had gone through the body, but neither the bullets nor the empty shells were located, even after the Special Investigation Team visited the spot after five years and recreated the whole scene.

He also informed the court, that Mr. Dinesh had travelled to Ahmedabad, in his official capacity, to arrest Sohrabuddin in the Hamid Lala murder case in 2005.

On being questioned whether they had any eye witness of the fake encounter, he said they had none. He also said Sohrabuddin was not murdered at Disha farms in Ahmedabad.

This story first appeared in The Hindu on Novemner 19, 2018 here.