Chief Minister Narendra Modi's close aide and Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, is likely to announce his resignation before his interrogation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
Shah will appear before the CBI at around 12:30 pm and is likely to to be arrested. This was stated on condition of anonymity by a top official of the bureau.
A member of the CBI probe team also said on Thursday: “We have crucial evidence that suggests the involvement of Shah in the conspiracy to eliminate gangster Sohrabuddin in a staged shootout."
"He knew of the encounter and also consented to police officials eliminating the gangster," the official added.
Shah has maintained that he has always upheld the Constitution and followed the rule of the law and that the CBI is working with a malice towards him as he has done nothing wrong.
Two associates of Shah, have already admitted to the CBI that they were involved in bribing and threatening some witnesses at the minister's behest.
Besides, evidence gathered by the CBI points to Shah's involvement– right from hatching the murder plan to pressuring police officials during the investigation, destroying evidence and threatening witnesses, the CBI official said.
The evidence includes records of phone calls made by Shah to police officers allegedly involved in Sohrabuddin's killing before and during the fake encounter.
On November 24, 2005, Rajasthan resident Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and a third person, Prajapati Tulsi, were abducted allegedly by the police from a bus stand in Gujarat.
Two days later, Sohrabuddin was allegedly killed by a joint police team from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Kausar Bi was also allegedly killed later but her body was never found.
Tulsi, the sole witness, too was killed in a fake encounter a year later.
In January 2010, the Supreme Court, on a plea by Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin, handed over the case to the CBI, saying the Gujarat Police were trying to shield those involved in the killing.
Shah, who ignored the CBI notice to appear before it on Thursday, later said he would present himself before the agency on Friday.
Shah had virtually gone into hiding for the past four months after his confidant, senior Gujarat police officer Abhay Chudasama, was arrested by the CBI in connection with Tulsi's murder.