Ahmedabad: The CBI, probing the fake encounter
of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in 2005, was on Monday permitted by a local
court to question all the accused in the case, including three
IPS officers, D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh M N.
Judge V B Barot allowed the CBI`s application seeking
permission to interrogate the accused inside the Sabarmati
Jail where they are lodged.
The Central agency, however, did not seek their custody,
like they had done in the case of two other suspects in the
case, police officers N K Amin and V A Rathod.
This would be for the first time that CBI would be
interrogating Vanzara, Pandian, Dinesh and eight others after
taking over the investigation in the case from Gujarat CID
following a Supreme Court order in January this year.
Vanzara, who was heading Gujarat`s Anti-Terrorism Squad
when the encounter took place, is considered to be the key
accused along with Pandian and Dinesh.
They were accused of murder and criminal conspiracy by the
CID which was investigating the case before CBI. They are
behind bars since their arrest in 2007.
CBI has already grilled IPS officer Abhay Chudasama,
arrested by it last month. The probe agency has also
questioned Amin and Rathod for four days.
Today, Amin and Rathod were produced before Judge Barot
after their four-day CBI remand ended.
Since CBI did not press for further remand of Amin and
Rathod, they were sent to judicial custody by the court.
Amin was an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with the
city Crime Branch before being arrested, based on the
statement of a witness involved in the operation of abducting
Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi.
Rathod, a Police Inspector, was allegedly involved in
disposing of the body of Kausar Bi.
All those arrested are lodged in Sabarmati Central Prison
Sheikh, an alleged gangster, was killed in a stage-managed
shootout on the city`s outskirts in November 2005.