Some senior police officials may face heat if investigations prove that the killing of a key witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case was "stage managed".
Prajapati, a friend of Sheikh and witness in the encounter case, was gunned down in 2006 and now there are pointers that it too may have been a "stage managed" killing, a senior official, who is in the know of the development, said.
"Eventually, it will have to be admitted that it was also a fake encounter. It has become increasingly evident that Prajapati's encounter is directly linked to the Sohrabuddin case," the official claimed.
Prajapati was shot dead in an "encounter" by Special Operation Group (SOG) of Banaskantha Police in 2006 at a time when CID (Crime), which was probing the Sohrabuddin case, was trying to reach out to him for recording statement.
"There are over a dozen policemen, including an IPS officer, who will be in trouble if the state police admit that it was a fake encounter," the official said.
The Prajapati case is being probed by the State CID (Crime).
"The case is being investigated so I cannot disclose any details at this point of time," said V V Rabari, Additional DG and Head of CID (Crime).
The 2005 Sohrabuddin case is being handled by CBI, which two days ago arrested DCP Abhay Chudasama, the fourth IPS officer held in the case.
CBI, which took over the investigation following a Supreme Court direction in January, has also sought the papers of Prajapati case, which according to the agency officials, is linked to the former.
The CBI has contended that the Supreme Court, while handing over the Sohrabuddin case, asked the agency to unearth the "larger conspiracy", if there was any.
However, Gujarat Police refused to provide the papers on the ground that it is "a separate case and is already being investigated by the CID (Crime)."