Prajapati case: Bail plea of main accused rejected

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail application of suspended IPS officer Vipul Agarwal who is the prime accused in the 2006 Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case being probed by CBI.

Justice MD Shah, while rejecting the bail plea filed by Agarwal last year, agreed with the apprehensions raised by the CBI that the accused was an IPS officer and could tamper with the evidence.

Agarwal had approached the high court after a sessions court rejected his bail application. He was arrested in May 2010 by the state CID which was then investigating the case.

On April 8 last year, the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into the killing of Prajapati who was gunned down in an alleged fake encounter on December 28, 2006 outside Chhapri village near Ambaji in Banaskantha district.

The apex court gave the direction on an appeal filed by Prajapati's mother Narmada Bai, who alleged that her son was killed in a staged encounter by Gujarat Police, as he was a key eyewitness in the November 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi.

The apex court had also criticised the "tardy" investigations conducted by the Gujarat Police in the killings, in which, besides politicians, top police officials were also involved.

In all, 14 policemen including four suspended IPS officers and four cops from Rajasthan are behind bars in this case.

The suspended IPS officers include former Banaskantha SP Vipul Agarwal besides IPS officers DG Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandiyan and Dinesh M N, who are already accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.