A Special CBI court in Mumbai Friday acquitted all 22 accused in the alleged fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati and the alleged murder of Shaikh’s wife, Kauserbi.
The CBI special judge S J Sharma said the government machinery and prosecution put in a “lot of effort” and 210witnesses were brought in. “It is no fault of the prosecutor if witnesses don’t speak,”
Late but not the least ultimately justice is done. Our team suffered irreversible loss due to fake cases. Politically motivated cases proved fake and not the encounter. Congratulations to officers and families of the officer who are actual victims.
— Dr Narendra Amin (@drnkamin) December 21, 2018
The court found that the prosecution could not prove a nexus between the accused and the alleged offences.
The CBI took over the case in 2010. There were 38 accused at the point, including now BJP president Amit Shah. From 2014 to 2017, 16 of the 38 were discharged, including all the IPS officers and ministers. Of the 210 witnesses examined through the course of the trial, at least 92 turned hostile.
Special Judge S J Sharma said the prosecution tried its best to prove the case, but cannot help if witnesses turn hostile. The accused, including serving and retired police officials from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, were charged with murder and criminal conspiracy among other charges.
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.
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.
Reaction of retired Superintendent of Police NK Amin on Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case verdict. Amin was a co-accused in this case who was discharged by CBI court.