The accused were mostly police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Sohrabuddin encounter case verdict: A special CBI court in Mumbai announced a verdict in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. The court acquitted all 22 accused in the case, citing lack of evidence. Sohrabuddin Sheikh, an alleged gangster, and his wife Kauser Bi were killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2005 by the Gujarat Police. His aide, Prajapati, was killed in another alleged fake encounter in 2006 in a joint operation by the Gujarat and the Rajasthan police. Out of the 210 witnesses brought in by the prosecution, 92 have been declared hostile. BJP chief Amit Shah was also an accused in the case but was discharged later
CBI court said, “Government machinery and prosecution put in a lot of effort, 210 witnesses were brought but satisfactory evidence didn’t come and witnesses turned hostile. No fault of the prosecutor if witnesses don’t speak.”
10 Developments in this Case
1. The Gujarat police claimed that Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in an encounter in November 2005. He was linked with terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and was allegedly conspiring to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the police said.
2. The CBI said Sohrabuddin, an alleged gangster, his wife Kausar Bi and aide Tulsiram Prajapati were abducted by Gujarat police from a bus when they were on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad in November 22, 2005.
3. Four days later, Sohrabuddin was killed near Ahmedabad, the CBI said. Kausar Bi, who had allegedly disappeared, was taken to a village in Banaskantha district, raped and murdered on November 29, the agency said.
4. On December 27, 2006, Tulsiram Prajapati was shot dead by Gujarat and Rajasthan police near Chapri on Gujarat-Rajasthan border, the CBI said.
5. The police claimed Tulsiram Prajapati had tried to escape while being taken from Ahmedabad to Rajasthan after a court case hearing. He was killed when the police opened fire in an attempt to stop him.
6. Among others discharged in the Sohrabuddin caseare Gujarat police officer Abhay Chudasama, former Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, former Gujarat police chief PC Pande and senior police officer Geeta Johri. On the current list of accused are junior-level police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan.
7. BJP president Amit Shah, who was also named in the case, was discharged. The court found him innocent and said his name was included in the inquiry for political reasons.
8. During the trial, CBI counsel BP Raju admitted to “lacunae” in the investigation as the case was transferred to the agency five years after the events — in 2010.
9. In September 2012, the politically-sensitive trial was shifted from Gujarat to Mumbai by the Supreme Court.
10. A prosecution witness, Azam Khan, has claimed that Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati were involved in other major crimes, including the murder of the state’s former home minister Haren Pandya in March 2003.