CBI opposes Amit Shah's bail plea | india | Hindustan Times
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CBI opposes Amit Shah's bail plea

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday opposed former Gujarat minister Amit Shah's bail plea in the Gujarat High Court in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh killing. The agency cited threat to witnesses as the main reason.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2010 21:29 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday opposed former Gujarat minister Amit Shah's bail plea in the Gujarat High Court in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh killing. The agency cited threat to witnesses as the main reason.

"The applicant continues to wield a lot of influence and his name strikes terror in the heart and minds of the witnesses," the CBI said.

The investigating agency said in its affidavit that several witnesses, including Geetha Johri, then investigating officer of the case and present police commissioner of Rajkot, have been threatened and induced to suppress the truth by Shah and other accused.

The affidavit was filed on behalf of CBI by Amitabh Thakur, who is heading the investigations.

The CBI said threats to witnesses subsequently resulting in systematic retractions by the witnesses have been noticed after filing of the charge sheet in the case and more particularly after the arrest of Shah July 25.

Citing the statement of a witness, Azam Khan, the CBI said that Khan in a statement recorded before a magistrate in Navi Mumbai admitted that the Gujarat Police had coercively taken his signature on an affidavit which was against the investigating agency.

The CBI denied Shah's allegations against it of being politically motivated and said that investigation is being done strictly within the confines of law.

The court Oct 12 sought a reply from the CBI and the state government on the bail application filed by Shah.

Shah has been charged with murder, extortion and kidnapping. Shah moved the high court for bail after his application was rejected by a special CBI court.

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has been accused of killing Sheikh in a staged shootout Nov 26, 2005, in Ahmedabad. His wife is suspected to have been killed at a farm near the city two days later.

Over a dozen policemen, including Indian Police Service officers, have been arrested for the killings.