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Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case: Four more witnesses turn hostile taking total number to 42

Mumbai: Four more witnesses were on Wednesday declared hostile in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case, taking the total number to 42.

So far, 59 witnesses have been examined, of whom 42 have been declared hostile by the prosecuting agency, the CBI.

None of the four witnesses examined by the agency before special court judge S J Sharma on Wednesday supported the statements they had recorded earlier.

Representaional image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Panch witnesses Sali Bharatbai Marathi and Maheshbhai Shah, both autorickshaw drivers, were present when the police at ATS office in Dafnala in Ahmedabad seized samples of traces of blood from a Maruti car, in which Sheikh was travelling at the time of the encounter, in November 2005.

Two other witnesses, loader Prashant Patel and stock market investor Mehul Shah, were present when Sheikh's clothes were seized by the police.

However, during their examination by CBI prosecutor B P Raju, all four witnesses did not stand by their earlier statements, following which they were declared hostile.

The court had October framed charges against 22 accused for murder, abduction and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code and for offences under the Arms Act in connection with the alleged staged encounter of Sheikh near Gandhinagar on 26 November, 2005.

All the accused had pleaded innocence.

BJP chief Amit Shah, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Rajasthan-based businessman Vimal Patni, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande, Additional Director General of Police (Gujarat) Geeta Johri and Gujarat police officers Abhay Chudasama and N K Amin have been discharged in the case.

Besides them, Yashpal Chudasama and Ajay Patel (both senior officials at Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank), Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandiyan and Andhra Pradesh-cadre IPS official N Balasubramanyam, Rajasthan IPS officer Dinesh M N and former senior Gujarat police officer D G Vanzara too were discharged.

Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat Police's Anti-Terrorism Squad from Hyderabad on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra in November 2005. According to prosecution, Sheikh was allegedly killed in a fake encounter.

Kausar Bi was also allegedly killed later.

Sheikh's aide Tulsi Prajapati, who was said to be a witness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by the police at Chapri village in Banaskantha district in December 2006.

The alleged fake encounter case was transferred to Mumbai in September 2012 on the request of the CBI for ensuring a fair trial. In 2013, the Supreme Court clubbed the Sheikh and Prajapati encounter cases.

Updated Date: Mar 07, 2018 22:35 PM

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