All accused in Sohrabuddin encounter case, acquitted

India

21 Dec 2018

Sohrabuddin-encounter: Citing lack of evidence, CBI-court acquits all 22 accused

A special CBI court on Friday acquitted all 22 accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case saying there wasn't enough proof to show he was murdered.

Sohrabuddin died in 2005 and for the last 13 years, the case has been at the center of a political storm.

The accused mostly included police officers of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and the CBI court concluded the evidence wasn't enough to convict them.

The case

Sohrabuddin, his wife and aide lost their lives

Sohrabuddin, his wife and aide lost their lives

Sohrabbuddin, an alleged gangster, his wife Kausar Bi and aide Tulsiram Prajapati were picked by the Gujarat police in November 2005, CBI alleged.

They were on way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad.

Four days later, Sohrabuddin was killed, the premier investigative agency said. His wife Kausar, who had disappeared, was allegedly raped and killed too.

In 2006, Tulsiram was shot dead by police.

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Claims

Police said the encounter was genuine, CBI claimed otherwise

While the police of the states claimed Sohrabuddin was an alleged LeT operative and was planning the murder of Narendra Modi, who was Chief Minister of Gujarat then, the CBI believed the encounter was fake.

The CBI took over the case in 2010 and two years later, the case was moved out of Gujarat to Mumbai.

But the fake encounter claims lacked evidence.

Verdict

Judge feels sorry about deaths, says witnesses didn't speak

Judge feels sorry about deaths, says witnesses didn't speak

As many as 92 witnesses, among the 210 the prosecution examined, turned hostile.

Lamenting this, the special 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."

Judge SJ Sharma said the court felt sorry three lives were lost.

Shah's name

Amit Shah was also named, but later discharged

In the politically sensitive case, Amit Shah, who was the Home Minister of Gujarat, was also named.

Sohrabuddin's brothers claimed Shah used Sohrabuddin to make money and later bumped him off with help from Gujarat police.

However, when the key witness Azam Khan turned hostile, the case against Shah became weaker and finally he was discharged from it.

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