The Central Bureau of Investigation, which took over the probe into the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case at the instance of the Supreme Court in January, made its first arrest on Wednesday.
It arrested Ahmedabad DCP (Crime Branch) Abhay Chudasama, accusing him of having conspired to kill Sheikh in a false encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in November 2005.
Sohrabuddin, his wife Kauserbi and an associate were allegedly killed by Gujarat police with the help of their counterparts from Andhra Pradesh, claiming Sheikh was planning to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
“Based on the charges of being a key conspirator in the abduction and following encounter of Sohrabuddin and subsequent disappearance of his wife Kauserbi, we have arrested Chudasama today. His involvement also includes concealing of facts and influencing the witnesses,” CBI Deputy Inspector General P. Kandasamy, who is in charge of the probe, told HT.
IPS officers D.G. Vanzara (who was chief of the state’s anti-terrorism squad), Raj Kumar Pandian and Dinesh Amin and 11 other police officials were arrested earlier by the Gujarat Police’s Criminal Investigation Department in connection with the Sohrabuddin case.
The CBI registered a case in February against these 14 police officials for criminal conspiracy, murder and kidnapping.
Advocate Amrish Patel, who appeared for Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin, said, “The arrest (of DCP Chudasama) proves our point that probe by the state police was involved in deliberate attempts to protect the real culprits. The first arrest by the CBI points to the matter moving in the right direction.”
The Supreme Court had ordered a fresh investigation by the CBI on the basis of Rubabuddin’s petition.
While Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah was not available for comment, Jay Narayan Vyas, Health Minister and the state government’s spokesperson said, “We never monitor what our police agencies are doing. As the probe is in relation to the process of law, I would not comment further.”