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How Amin was won over

india Updated: Jul 26, 2010 23:24 IST
Stavan Desai & Mahesh Langa
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The CBI exploited the rift among the accused persons and used a mole to gather incriminating evidence against former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah in the murder case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife, Kausar Bi.

The agency struck upon a plan to turn murder-accused jailed policeman Narendra Amin approver in the case when some alleged co-conspirators assaulted him on the Sabarmati prison premises.

An approver is a person pardoned by the court to give evidence in a case.

Three months ago, when the court released Amin for a day to allow him to appear in an Indira Gandhi National Open University examination for a diploma in cyber crime, the CBI approached him at his residence. In his statement Amin reportedly laid bare the conspiracy to kill Sohrabuddin’s wife, Kauser Bi, how it was executed, and who were involved.

“Amin agreed to the CBI’s proposal (to turn approver) as they (the sleuths of the agency) had assured him that they will not challenge his bail plea. Amin had agreed on condition that he would move an application to turn approver only after Shah was arrested,” said a state police source.

“But the CBI still needed more evidence to nail Shah,” the source said.

The agency approached former anti-terrorism squad inspector and co-accused V.A. Rathod and asked him to secretly video-record conversations between Amin and suspended deputy inspector general of police D.G. Vanzara regarding Shah's alleged involvement in the killing of Sheikh and his wife.

In return, the CBI promised to drop charges against Rathod.

“Rathod (acted as a decoy) and (engaged) Amin and Vanzara in a casual conversation and they spilled the beans on Shah’s involvement. The 42-minute video was then smuggled out of the jail by the CBI,” the source said.

The CBI kept its promise, dropped the charges against Rathod and told the special court here that “it had failed to find any evidence against Rathod”.

Another CBI official said: “With the help of G.C. Raigar (retired IPS officer) and Geetha Johri (serving officer), it can easily be established that Shah had pressured to destroy the evidence when the Gujarat police was conducting the probe.”