The Fake encounter killing of alleged extortionist Sohrabuddin Sheikh took a serious turn on Thursday with Inspector General, CID (Crime), Geetha Johri telling a local court that the accused police officers were trying to make witnesses retract their statements to the investigating officer.
The three accused IPS officers, including Gujarat’s ‘encounter specialist’ DG Vanjara, RK Pandian and Dinesh Kumar MN, are in judicial custody at the Sabarmati Jail.
Johri did not name Vanjara and the two other officers in her affidavit to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate KJ Upadhyaya.
On Tuesday, Nathubha Jadeja, the driver of the Anti-Terrorist Squad, had alleged that the Crime Investigation Department team headed by DIG Rajnish Rai had forcibly obtained his statement on April 26. Rai has since been taken off the investigation.
Johri’s affidavit denied Jadeja’s allegation that his statement was taken under duress. She offered to show the court the videographed statement of Jadeja, recorded in the presence of two witnesses. Johri said Jadeja could have approached her with his grievances, as she was senior to Rai.
Johri had brought the video clipping in her laptop but the judge did not wish to see it.
The affidavit also mentioned that Jadeja was a witness and not an accused. It argued that there was no question of Jadeja surrendering to the court as no arrest warrant had been issued against him.
Johri requested the court to direct Jadeja to appear before investigating officer Dr GS Padheria for further recording of his statement.
She also stated that Deputy SP Dr Narendra Amin, who is alleged to have been present in the bungalow where Sohrabuddin’s widow Kausar Bi was killed, was deliberately delaying the statement on one pretext or another. She urged the court to take serious note of the facts stated in the affidavit.
The three arrested IPS officers would be presented in the court on Friday when their judicial custody comes to an end.