Sohrabuddin case: Rajasthan BJP leader to `put his case in front of people`

A Mumbai court has issued summons to Rajasthan`s Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria to appear before it June 04 in Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shooting case.

Updated: May 15, 2013, 11:09 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Jaipur: A day after a Mumbai court issued summons to Rajasthan`s Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria and three others to appear before it June 04 in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shooting case, Rajasthan`s Leader of Opposition on Wednesday vowed to present his case in front of people.

On Tuesday, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Public Prosecutor Ejaz Khan told a news agency: "The court has taken cognizance and issued the summons directing the four people to appear before it June 04”.

Besides Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kataria, the others summoned include Andhra Pradesh Indian Police Service officer N Balasubramaniam, police inspector Shrinivas Rao, and RK Marbles director Vimal Patni.

Speaking to a news agency, Kataria on Wednesday said that he would tackle the case in the court.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party has come out strongly in the defence of Kataria.

Describing the allegations against Kataria as baseless, former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje said the BJP "will contest the matter both in courts and politically".

The developments follow a supplementary chargesheet filed by CBI running into 500 pages with statements of 40 new witnesses added to the case, according to Khan.

Kataria becomes the second prominent politician involved in the case so far, the first being former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah.

The chargesheet has accused Sohrabuddin Sheikh of allegedly demanding Rs 24 crore from Patni as "protection money" which is said to be motive behind his killing.

Kataria was the conduit between Shah and Patni, and later Shah - then a minister in Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s Cabinet - planned the elimination operation with the help of the Gujarat Police, according to CBI.

The Supreme Court had on September 27 last year ordered the sensitive case to be transferred to Maharashtra after the CBI said that witnesses were being threatened and the trial could not be conducted in a free and fair manner in Gujarat.

According to the CBI, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly kidnapped by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad from Hyderabad and killed in a "gunfight" near Gandhinagar in November 2005.

A year later, Tulsiram Prajapati, a prime witness to the incident, was allegedly killed in another staged gunfight in Chapri village of Gujarat`s Banskantha district.

(With IANS inputs)