A probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati in a fake police encounter in Gujarat on December 26, 2006, has revealed that five of the accused, comprising then state home minister Amit Shah and four police officers, had spoken to each other 54 times around the date of the incident.
Shah had allegedly spoken 15 times to the four police officers belonging to the Gujarat and Rajasthan police, said a CBI source.
"The phone records are among the strongest pieces of evidence in the Prajapati case," he added.
According to a CBI source, the 54 conversations had occurred over a period of 12 days — from December 20, 2006, to January 1, 2007. Shah and the four officers — then deputy inspector general (border range) DG Vanzara, then superintendent of police (anti-terrorism squad, Ahmedabad) Rajkumar, then SP (Udaipur, Rajasthan) Dinesh MN, and then
SP (Banaskantha, Gujarat) Vipul Aggarwal — were named as the accused in a chargesheet submitted by the CBI in a Banaskantha court on Tuesday.
“The five were in constant touch around the day of the incident,” the CBI source said. Prajapati was allegedly murdered because he was a key witness to the abduction and killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi by the accused in November 2005.
He was abducted from Hyderabad along with the couple, and had seen the two before they were allegedly killed at a flat in Danilimda, Ahmedabad.
“Prajapati had become very vocal about his witness status in the Sohrabuddin-Kausar Bi case, provoking the accused to expedite the murder. He had written to court and jail authorities seeking protection…” the source said.
“A week before the encounter, they had a meeting in which one of them seemed angry that the investigating officer wanted to meet Prajapati (while he was lodged at an Udaipur jail). The encounter occurred soon after.” the source said.