Gujarat police accepts Prajapati encounter was fake

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 00:52

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat police has accepted as
fake the encounter in which Tulsi Prajapati, a key witness in
the Sohrabuddin Sheikh murder case, was killed, top state CID
officials said.

"We believed that his (Prajapati) encounter was fake. So,
we investigated the case and found involvement of some police
officers," CID crime chief V V Rabari said.

District Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Dahod and IPS
officer Vipul Agarwal was arrested last night for his
involvement in Parajapati`s encounter killing.

Another constable from Banaskantha district police Vinod
Choudhary was also arrested today in connection with the
encounter case from Palanpur.

Prajapati was killed by Gujarat police in an encounter
near Ambaji in Banaskantha district when he tried to escape
from custody while being shifted from Rajasthan to Gujarat in
December, 2006,

DIG I M Desai, supervising the case, said investigation
was on and more arrests would be made as the probe progresses.

The investigating officer in the case Dy SP R K Patel
of CID said there were ten more persons involved in the case
which include a police inspector Ashish Pandya who had
actually fired the bullet that killed Prajapati.

"We are trying to locate Pandya but he was nowhere to
be found. In all, there are 12 accused in the case, out of
which two have been arrested while 10 are absconding," Patel
said.

Gujarat police`s earlier claim that Prajapati was
killed in an encounter when the accused was trying to escape
after firing at the personnel escorting him was challenged by
the forensic laboratory report and the Railway Police.

CBI, probing the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin
and his wife Kausar Bi in November 2005 had sought from
Gujarat police papers regarding the Parajapati encounter case.

CBI had also sought forensic documents which had
questioned the claims of Gujarat police that three people
threw chilly powder on the police party escorting Prajapati
back to Rajasthan by train and got him released. They had also
reportedly fired at the policemen on duty.

However, Railway Police had reported that no chilly
powder was thrown on the policemen escorting Prajapati and the
weapon recovered from the deceased was declared by the
Forensic Scientific Laboratory as "jammed" and unable to fire.
The bullet injuries on the cops were believed by the
experts as self-inflicted.

CBI had registered a case last month against Gujarat
police officials and members of Rajasthan ATS to probe the
fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Kausar Bi in
2005 on the directions of the Supreme Court.

The apex court had came down heavily on Gujarat police
for failing to conduct impartial investigations and attempting
to "mislead" apex court by filing conflicting action taken
reports (ATRs).

Fifteen police officers, including four IPS officers
DIG D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandyan, Dinesh M N and Abhay
Chudasama, are behind bar in this case.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 00:52

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