The CBI on Thursday summoned former Gujarat police chief PC Pande and IPS officer Geetha Johri for questioning on the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
Pande and Johri have been asked to appear on August 10 and 11, respectively. Pande has been suspected to have pressured — along with then junior home minister Amit Shah — on CID-crime chief GC Raiger and Geetha Johri for scuttling the probe.
The Supreme Court, while transferring the case to CBI in January this year, had come down heavily on Johri and held that the Gujarat police had botched the probe.
Sheikh, Kauser Bi and a third person, Tulsi Prajapati, were picked up by a team of Gujarat and Rajasthan police in Andhra Pradesh on November 23, 2005. Sheikh was killed in a staged encounter on November 26, 2005 while Kauser Bi was killed a few days later. Prajapati was also killed about a year later.
The grilling of Shah, meanwhile, continued on Thursday for more than three hours inside Sabarmati central jail. Shah’s interrogation will continue on Friday as well.
A CBI official said, “We questioned him on the calls he made to the police officials during and after the encounter ... and whether he tried to scuttle the probe when CID crime was probing the case.”
Attacking the Congress party and UPA government at the Centre, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said, "You all have seen what the Congress has done in Gujarat in the last week. It seems that the Congress has accepted defeat ... CBI will put up candidates in the civic body's election in Ahmedabad." He added, "Congress cannot digest the progress Gujarat has made ... and is trying to create problems to retard the progress."