Sohrabuddin Encounter: ‘Evidence not substantial,’ says court, acquits all



Sohrabuddin Sheikh
The Gujarat police claimed that Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in an encounter in November 2005.

All 22 accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter killing were acquitted today by a court in Mumbai, reported NDTV

The court said that the witnesses and evidence was not satisfactory to prove conspiracy and murder. “A Special CBI judge said the circumstantial evidence was not substantial. The accused were mostly police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan,” the report added.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, which probed the case, said the murders were a result of conspiracy for political and financial gains. Of the 38 people charged, 16 people – including BJP chief Amit Shah, former top cop DG Vanzara and other police officers — were discharged. Ninety-two prosecution witnesses had turned hostile.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in an encounter in November 2005, and was linked with Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit, accused of conspiring to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the NDTV quoted police.

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. 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.

On December 27, 2006, Tulsiram Prajapati was shot dead by Gujarat and Rajasthan police near Chapri on Gujarat-Rajasthan border, the CBI said.


Kashmir needs independent journalism…

…now, more than ever to give a voice to the voiceless. The press in Kashmir has operated under tremendous pressures of reporting from a conflict zone but since August 2019 we find ourselves in unchartered territory. The Kashmir Walla is among the oldest independent media outlets in Kashmir and has withstood successive lockdowns as well as attempts to suppress us, fighting back with authoritative ground reports based on facts.

We believe in making the powers that be accountable to their actions but to also hold the mirror to the society. We believe in covering all sides of the story and that empowerment in essence means the ability to make informed decisions. As such we have not allowed our journalism to be influenced by the pressures.

Despite the new and still unknown pressures, we are all the more committed to keep informing you of events and stories that matter. Our recent coverage of events has brought us an increased readership. However, the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic crisis has affected our operational capabilities. We are facing an existential threat but only your support can help us withstand this and maintain our editorial independence.

We need your solidarity to keep our journalism going. Your contribution will empower us to keep you informed on stories that matter from Kashmir. Show your solidarity by joining our members community. Kashmir thanks you.