The 30,000-page chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Gujarat’s absconding junior home minister Amit Shah has tried to establish that he and a coterie of police officials ran an extortion racket, including Sohrabuddin Sheikh who was killed in a fake encounter in November 2005.
“The fake encounter of Sohrabuddin is a case of extortion involving senior officials of the Gujarat police like Vanzara, Pandian, Chudasama and N.K. Amin in connivance with their political boss, Amit Shah. Police officials established an extortion network with the help of anti-social elements like Sohrabuddin and his accomplice Tulsiram Prajapati, who were used by the police officials,” a senior CBI officer said.
“A witness gave a statement saying he had paid Rs. 70 lakh to Amit Shah to settle a case in which he was implicated.”
Another witness told the magistrate that IPS officer Abhay Chudasama had threatened him, saying, “Amit Shah will be home minister of Gujarat for 10 more years so don’t try to enter into a rivalry with him.”
“After 10 days of Sohrabuddin’s encounter, many businessmen were implicated in false cases by the Gujarat ATS and they extorted Rs. 5-6 crore from builders and businessmen,” said a CBI official.
The chargesheet also contains evidence that at Shah’s behest, police officer Chudasama sent to two persons to approach Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin Sheikh to offer him Rs. 50 lakh to withdraw his case against the minister and others.
“We have got statements of those who were sent by Chudasama to approach Rubabuddin. Besides, we have videographed a conversation of Chudasama threatening some witnesses, warning them not to appear before the CBI,” the official said.