The Supreme Court has fixed Thursday to pass orders on the plea for a CBI probe into the killing Kausar Bi, the wife of fake encounter victim Sohrabuddin Sheikh.
The date was rescheduled, as the bench of Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice PK Balasubramanyam, which has been hearing the matter, did not sit on Tuesday. In fact, Justice Chatterjee was sitting with Justice LS Panta.
"Some people think that it is an urgent matter. We don’t have any problem. The only thing is that I have to sit with Justice Balasubramanyam," Justice Chatterjee said while posting the matter to May 3.
On Monday, in its report submitted to the court the Gujarat government was understood to have admitted that Kausar Bi was killed and her body burnt a few days after her husband was killed in a fake encounter on November 26, 2005 at Ahmedabad.
The confirmation of her killing came during the custodial interrogation of DG Vanzara, Gujarat DIG, Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), Raj Kumar Pandian, SP (Intelligence), and MN Dinesh, SP, Alwar who had been arrest in connection with the case, sources said adding more arrests were likely.
As many as 122 witnesses had been examined 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.
Meanwhile, senior counsel KTS Tulsi, who is representing the Gujarat government in the case, denied an agency report that the Gujarat has told the apex court in its report that Andhra Pradesh policemen too were involved in the killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife.
"We have not alleged any involvement of Andhra Pradesh Police in this episode in our report to the Supreme Court," Tulsi told Hindustan Times.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy also ruled out involvement of the state police in the Gujarat fake encounter case. "To the best of my knowledge, it is not true," Reddy said while Hyderabad Police Commissioner Balwinder Singh said it was a normal practice for the police force of one state to assist the police from another state.
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 in Maharashtra. 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.
Centre has supported the petitioner’s plea for CBI probe but the Gujarat government has expressed apprehension that such an order might be misused for political purposes.