Accusing the Gujarat Police of protecting former state home minister Amit Shah in the Sohrabu-ddin Sheikh fake encounter case, the CBI on Thursday requested the Supreme Court to transfer the case to Mumbai, arguing the atmosphere in Gujarat was not conducive to a free and fair trial.
In its final report on the encounter case given to the SC in a sealed cover, the probe agency is understood to have said that senior officials of Gujarat Police Anti-Terrorist Squad tried to protect their former boss even after his arrest, sources said.
The report has accused Shah of using the Sabarmati jail where he was lodged as a meeting place for BJP workers, family members and government officials to chalk out a strategy to save his skin. It even includes an exa-mple of Gujarat Police allegedly kidnapping Mohammed Azam Khan, a key witness in the case, and forcing him to retract his statement against Shah. “The agency is concerned witnesses are being ‘managed’ to retract their testimony even before trial has begun,” an official said.
An alleged gangster, Sohrabuddin was killed in November 2005 by Gujarat Police in cold blood. Later, the policemen allegedly killed his wife Kauser Bi and another witness, Tulsiram Prajapati. Several senior police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan are facing murder charges in the case.
The CBI arrested Shah in the case on July 25 this year. He was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court last month.