No Proof Of Fake Encounter In Sohrabuddin Case, Says Court: 10 Points

Sohrabuddin case: Gujarat police claimed Sohrabuddin Sheikh was planning to assassinate PM Narendra Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat.

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Sohrabuddin case:Gujarat police claimed that Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in an encounter in 2005.

Mumbai:  All 22 accused in the 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife and his friend Tulsiram Prajapati by police officers were acquitted today by a court in Mumbai, which said the evidence was "unsatisfactory" and not enough to prove conspiracy and cold-blooded murder. The CBI had said that the three were murdered by Gujarat police officers as part of a conspiracy for political and financial gains. Of the 38 people initially charged, 16 people - including BJP chief Amit Shah, former top cop DG Vanzara and other police officers -- were discharged. Over the years, 92 prosecution witnesses turned hostile. "I am helpless," Special CBI judge SJ Sharma said, referring to the hostile witnesses and what he called insufficient evidence.
Here are the top 10 updates on the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case:
  1. The judge said the government machinery and prosecution put in a "lot of effort" and 210 witnesses were brought in. "It is no fault of the prosecutor if witnesses don't speak," he said.
  2. Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin Sheikh protested the court decision and said the family would challenge it.
  3. Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and friend Tulsiram Prajapati were pulled off a bus from Hyderabad to Sangli by the Gujarat police on November 22, 2005, according to the CBI.
  4. Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed four days later near Ahmedabad by the police, who claimed he was working for terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba and was planning to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat. The CBI said Sohrabuddin's wife Kausar Bi, who was not seen after the killing, was taken to another location, raped and murdered on November 29.
  5. A year later on December 27, 2006, Tulsiram Prajapati, a witness to Sohrabuddin's killing, was shot dead by Gujarat and Rajasthan police near Chapri on the border between the two states, the agency said.
  6. The police claimed Tulsiram Prajapati had tried to escape while being taken from Ahmedabad to Rajasthan after a court case hearing, and was killed when the police opened fire in an attempt to stop him.
  7. Among others discharged in the Sohrabuddin case are Gujarat police officer Abhay Chudasama, former Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, former Gujarat police chief PC Pande and senior police officer Geeta Johri.
  8. BJP president Amit Shah, then home minister, was also named in the case but he was discharged. The court said his name was included in the inquiry for political reasons.
  9. During the trial, CBI counsel BP Raju admitted to "lacunae" in the investigation as the case was transferred to the agency five years after the events -- in 2010. In September 2012, the politically sensitive trial was shifted from Gujarat to Mumbai by the Supreme Court.
  10. A prosecution witness, Azam Khan, claimed that Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati were involved in other major crimes, including the murder of the state's former home minister Haren Pandya in March 2003.




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Highlights

1
Witnesses and evidence was not satisfactory to prove conspiracy: Court
2
Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati were killed in 2005
3
The accused were mostly police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan

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