The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has told the Supreme Court that Gujarat staged shootout victim Sohrabuddin Sheikh's aide Tulsiram Prajapati was also killed as part of a criminal conspiracy.
Prajapati's killing was an integral part of the criminal conspiracy behind abduction and killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausarbi in 2005, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the court in an affidavit filed last week.
Prajapati was killed in an alleged staged shootout Dec 28, 2006 -- almost a year after Sheikh's killing. He was killed before Gujarat investigators probing the Sheikh killing could record his statement. He was the sole eye-witness in the killing of Sheikh and the elimination of his wife Kauserbi.
The CBI which is investigating the Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Kausarbi abduction and killing case has sought the apex court's nod for taking over investigation into Tulsiram Prajapati staged shootout.
The investigating agency said in its affidavit that when during its probe it became apparent that officials of Gujarat anti-terrorist squad were involved in Sheikh's staged killing, the state government transferred most of them to other locations.
However, the former Gujarat minister of state for home Amit Shah ensured that deputy inspector general D.G. Vanzara was transferred, just 12 days prior to the (Prajapati) killing, to the border range where the alleged staged shootout was executed Dec 28, 2006, the CBI said.
The investigating agency said that it has been given three months time to complete investigation into Sohrabuddin-Kausarbi case and an early transfer of the Tulsiram Prajapati case would facilitate expeditious completion of the probe.
"The planned cold blooded murder of Tulsi Prajapati" was carried out in the "most brazen manner" by the "powerful and influential accused" when the investigation of the main matter of abduction and killing of Sohrabuddin and Kausarbi was being monitored by the Supreme Court, the CBI said.
The case which was listed for hearing before the apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan was adjourned for four weeks.
The CBI in its affidavit told the court that when it became "clear and evident" that the investigating agency had "unravelled the truth", Gujarat police filed the charge sheet July 30, 2010 and supplementary charge sheet July 31, 2010 in a trial court in Banaskantha district.
The affidavit said that it is understood that the magistrate also committed the case to the session court Aug 2, 2010 in a matter of two to three days without securing compliance of Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Under Section 207 of CrPC when court proceedings are initiated on the basis of police report then the accused are furnished all documents and statements including police report and copy of the first information report (FIR).
The CBI has said that Prajapati knew all along that he would be killed and made several representations including one to the National Human Rights Commission. The affidavit said that his killing in staged shootout proved his worst apprehensions.
The affidavit said that after the abduction of Sohrabuddin and Kausarbi, Prajapati was taken to Rajasthan by police from Valsad. However, he was shown to be arrested Nov 29, 2005 at Bhilwara.
The CBI said that on earlier occasions when Prajapati, along with another accused Mohammad Azam, was brought to Ahmedabad they were escorted by 50 commandos but on the night when he was killed in the staged shootout he was accompanied by just five policemen.