Sohrabuddin case: Shah says doesn`t remember
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 23:52
Zeenews Bureau

Ahmedabad: The CBI today grilled for more than four hours former Gujarat minister Amit Shah in Sabarmati jail for his alleged role in the killing of suspected gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife in 2005 and the accused is reported to have denied all charges levelled against him.

A CBI team started interrogating 46-year-old Shah around 11 AM and his quizzing continued till around 3.30 PM, sources in the Central agency said.

Shah, a close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, feigned ignorance and seemed in no mood to cooperate with the team, CBI sources said. His answers were evasive and he took refuge behind a failing memory.

The questioning of Shah, lodged in Tilak barrack of Sabarmati Jail near here after being arrested last Sunday, is likely to continue tomorrow.

The BJP leader was asked questions pertaining to the kidnapping of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi and their killings, political compulsions for conducting the encounter and alleged involvement of Rajasthan marble lobby in it, the sources said.

Shah reportedly said he was not present on the spot and did not remember anything about the incident, a TV channel reported.

The CBI team was led by Chief Investigating Officer of the case Amitabh Thakur.

The entire questioning process was videographed as per the instruction of the special CBI court, they said.

The court has permitted the investigating agency to question Shah inside the jail from July 28 to 30.

As per the charge sheet filed by CBI last week, Shah has been booked for murder, kidnapping, extortion, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy, among other charges.

According to the charge sheet, the police officials of Gujarat ATS and Rajasthan Special Task Force (STF) had allegedly stage managed the encounter of Sohrabuddin near Ahmedabad.

Shah had allegedly entrusted the job of eliminating Sohrabuddin to three senior IPS officers -- D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandiyan and Abhay Chudasama, the CBI document claimed.

"Elimination of Sohrabuddin was being used for extortion by the accused persons to establish an element of fear in the minds of the businessmen and others," it alleged.

According to the charge sheet, Shah was in constant touch over telephone with Vanzara when Sohrabuddin and his wife were in the custody of Gujarat Police. It further alleged that Vanzara was instructed by Shah to eliminate Kausar Bi as she was a key witness to her husband's abduction.

After the case was transferred to CBI in January this year, Shah had directed Ajay Patel and Yashpal Chudasama, his close confidants, to "convince, coerce, threaten and influence the witnesses on his behalf to conceal the truth from CBI about the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin", the charge sheet alleged.

-PTI inputs

First Published: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 23:52

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