CBI takes over Prajapati fake encounter case

The CBI on Friday registered an FIR in connection with the 2006 fake encounter of Tulsiram Prajapati.

Ahmedabad: The CBI on Friday registered an
FIR in connection with the 2006 fake encounter of Tulsiram
Prajapati, a key witness to the killing of Sohrabuddin
Sheikh and his wife Kausarbi , thus taking over the
investigation after the Supreme Court`s directive.

CBI`s Joint Director, Zone-II, Mumbai, P Kandaswamy, said
that the FIR had been registered with the special crime
branch,CBI Mumbai, against "the police officials of Gujarat
and Rajasthan and others for their alleged involvement in the
criminal conspiracy of wrongful restraint, wrongful
confinement, abduction and murder of Tulsi Prajapati and
causing disappearance of evidence".

He added that the FIR was registered in pursuance of the
Supreme court`s order on April 8 on a writ petition filed by
Narmada Bai, Prajapati`s mother.

Kandaswamy said that Narmada Bai`s petition would be the
basis of the FIR, and the investigation would be conducted by
the special investigation team (SIT) of CBI officers which had
earlier probed the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case.

Narmada Bai had alleged that her son was killed in a fake
encounter by the Gujarat police as he was a key eyewitness in
the November 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

Prajapati, a close aide of Sohrabuddin, an alleged
gangster, was killed in alleged shoot-out near Chapri village
in Banaskantha district on December 28, 2006.

The Supreme Court had also criticised the tardy
investigation by Gujarat police, regretting that the police
took more than three-and-a-half years to file chargesheet.

The Prajapati encounter was being probed by the state CID

CID had registered FIR last year in Ambaji police
station. Seven policemen including IPS officer Vipul Agarwal
were arrested in the case.

Three suspended IPS officers, DG Vanzara, Rajkumar
Pandiyan and Dinesh MN, who are accused in the Sohrabuddin
encounter case, have been shown as accused in the Prajapati
case too.

The apex court had taken into consideration the CBI`s
argument that Prajapati`s case was crucial for unearthing the
"larger conspiracy" in the Sohrabuddin case.

The court had observed that both oral and documentary
evidence raise strong suspicion that Prajapati`s encounter was
fake and stage-managed, as predicted by the deceased in
several communications.

Observing that there was a connection between the two
encounters, apex court had said that there was substantial
material on record which makes it probable that the prime
motive for eliminating Prajapati was that he was a witness to
abduction of Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi.

Gujarat government, during the arguments, had strongly
opposed CBI probe on the ground that Prajapati`s case was in
no way connected to the encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.


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