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The seven Andhra cops who got away

Seven Andhra Pradesh police personnel, including two sub-inspectors, had allegedly collaborated with Gujarat police's ATS team in abducting Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi from a bus on the Hyderabad-Mumbai highway. Abhishek Sharan reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 28, 2010 00:48 IST
Abhishek Sharan

Seven Andhra Pradesh police personnel, including two sub-inspectors, had allegedly collaborated with Gujarat police's ATS team in abducting Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi from a bus on the Hyderabad-Mumbai highway.

These men had also traveled to Ahmedabad along with the ATS team.

This is what the Gujarat police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) — which was tasked by the Supreme Court to probe the alleged fake encounters — found during the course of its probe.

Though the CBI, which took over the investigations in February, has relied heavily on the SIT findings, it has not included the seven Andhra policemen in its chargesheet submitted last Friday.

"The identity of the seven Andhra policemen — whose role in assisting the Gujarat ATS team in abducting … Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi was outlined in minute details in the SIT reports — has not been uncovered by the CBI," said a former SIT official.

"The CBI should have grilled them, which they did not, and their role should have been accounted for in the agency's chargesheet."

The Gujarat ATS team, traveling in a Qualis with a forged number plate and led by former SP Rajkumar Pandian, had picked up Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi early on November 23, 2005, when they were on their way to Sangli from Hyderabad on a bus.

The seven Andhra policemen, in two Tata Sumos, had assisted the ATS team in scouting for the bus and then abducting the couple.

ATS policemen Ajay Parmar, who was allegedly part of the team that abducted the two, is currently a case witness and revealed the role played by the seven policemen in cornering the bus, then forcing the couple into Pandian's Qualis.

Another ATS officer and witness, Gurudyal Singh, said he had allegedly seen the Andhra policemen at his department headquarters in Ahmedabad on November 25, 2005, a day before Sohrabuddin's death in an alleged police encounter.

"The involved policemen should be identified and suspended," demanded Lateef Khan, of the Hyderabad-based Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, a NGO.