Kausar Bi, the wife of encounter victim Sohrabuddin Sheikh, met the same fate at the hands of the Gujarat Police.
On Monday, the Gujarat government submitted a report in a sealed cover to the Supreme Court, in which it is understood to have confirmed that Kausar Bi was killed a few days after Sohrabuddin’s encounter in November 2005 and her body was burnt to destroy the evidence.
Earlier, the state government had told the court that there was a "fair suspicion" that Kausar Bi too might have been killed.
Sources said the confirmation of her killing came during the interrogation of DG Vanzara, Gujarat DIG, Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), Raj Kumar Pandian, SP (Intelligence), and MN Dinesh, SP, Alwar. The three officers were in police custody following their arrest in connection with the case.
As many as 122 witnesses had been examined so far and the investigators were trying to trace the remains of Kausar Bi’s body parts for DNA test to forensically prove the murder, the sources said, adding that more arrests were likely to follow.
Senior counsel KTS Tulsi submitted the action-taken report before a bench headed by Justice Tarun Chatterjee, which will pass orders on Tuesday on a petition filed by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin Sheikh seeking a CBI probe into the matter.
On Friday, on behalf of the Centre, Attorney General Milon K Banerji had termed the encounter a “cold-blooded murder” and supported the petitioner’s plea for a CBI probe into the episode. Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, who was asked by the court to enquire into the matter, also recommended a CBI probe.
But the Gujarat government opposed the plea for a CBI probe on the ground that it might be misused for political purposes and the truth would get derailed. On Friday, Tulsi had accused the attorney general of playing politics on the issue. Banerji had said he was simply performing his constitutional duty.
Sohrabuddin was allegedly picked up along with his wife in a joint operation of the Gujarat Police’s ATS and Rajasthan Police’s Special Task Force while they were travelling from Hyderabad to Sangli. Later, Sohrabuddin was killed and shown as a Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist while Kausar Bi is still missing.
Rubabuddin also sought direction to the state to produce his sister-in-law Kausar Bi. But with the state admitting that she had been killed, his habeas corpus petition has become infructous.