New Delhi: In a major development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday submitted its final probe report in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and indicted former Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah and several top ranking Anti Terror Squad (ATS) officials of foul play in the case.
According to TV channels, the CBI status report, which was filed in a sealed cover before a Supreme Court bench of Justices Aftab Alam and RM Lodha, said Gujarat police continued to help Chief Minister Narender Modi`s close aide Amit Shah even
after his arrest for his alleged role in the killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh in the fake encounter.
The probe report says that Shah used the Sabarmati jail as a den to meet his party workers, family members and top officials of his ministry to devise strategy on how to influence the case in his favour.
The report also pointed fingers at the role of ATS SP GL Singhal in the alleged abduction of a key witness in the case.
In its report, the CBI has maintained that Md Azam Khan – a key witness in the case- was illegally detained by ATS officials to help Shah – one of the accused in the fake encounter case- evade prosecution.
The report also alleges that Singhal and other ATS officials later forced Azam Khan to retract from his statement in order to weaken the case against their former boss Amit Shah.
CBI in its 37-page report has also sought shifting of the ongoing trial in the case to Mumbai expressing fears that a fair trial would not be possible as the accused
persons are very influential.
The CBI, in its final report, has claimed that Shah had got Sheikh eliminated with the twin motive of securing "political prominence" and "monetary gains".
The report states that Sheikh was eliminated as he had started extorting money from politically-connected marble traders, who initially approached politicians in Rajasthan.
On inputs from Rajasthan Police, Gujarat Police registered a case against the gangster, while Shah put encounter specialist DG Vanzara of anti-terrorist squad and his team on Sheikh`s trail.
In its status report, the central investigating agency has also challenged the bail granted to Amit Shah by the Gujarat High Court.
After the status report was submitted, the two member bench of the apex court decided to hear the CBI`s plea seeking cancellation of bail granted to Shah on December 14.
Sheikh, an alleged gangster, was killed in November 2005 by Gujarat Police which had claimed that he was planning to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The policemen are alleged to have subsequently killed his wife Kauser Bi and another accomplice Tulsiram Prajapati as they were said to have been eyewitnesses to the killing.
The Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case has been as a major embarrassment for the BJP government of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the issue has also echoed in the Parliament.