A day after the Chief Minister Narendra Modi justified the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh by the state police, Sheikh’s family said it would approach the Supreme Court again and the Election Commission for redress.
Modi, while addressing election rally at Mangrol in south Gujarat on Tuesday had for the first time publicly referred to the Sohrabuddin issue. Sohrabuddin was killed in November 2005.
“What should be done to a man who stored illegal arms and ammunition ?” Modi reportedly said. “You tell me what should have been done to Sohrabuddin ?... Hang me if I have done anything wrong.”
Sohrabuddin’s elder brother, Rubabuddin Sheikh, on whose petition the Supreme Court had ordered a CBI probe into the killing, told Hindustan Times on phone from Ujjain: “Modi government was misleading the Supreme Court. It has admitted in court that Sohrabuddin was killed in a fake encounter. It could not prove anything in the court against my brother”.
“If Modi is justifying my brother’s killing today, why did his government not describe him as a terrorist in the Supreme Court ? How does Modi all of a sudden come to this conclusion six days before the election ? I am going to bring this to the notice of the Supreme Court”, Rubabuddin Sheikh said.
The family has also decided to move the Election Commission. It will expose before the commission “the dirty politics being practiced by Narendra Modi and his party in the name of a person killed in a fake encounter, while the petition seeking justice for him is still pending with the highest court of the country,” said Rubabuddin.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed by the officers of crime branch of the state police in November 2005, while his wife Kausar-Bi was abducted and killed a few days later. The Gujarat government had admitted to these fake encounters in the Supreme Court earlier this year.
Gujarat assembly records show the state government — which now claims that Sohrabuddin was killed due to his alleged terror links - was not aware of any such activities at the time when he was liquidated.
Records show that four months after Sohrabuddin had been killed, he had been described by Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the state assembly on March 20, 2006, “as an accused wanted in an unspecified murder case, also wanted for offences under the Arms Act”.
These 'facts' were stated in a written reply tabled in the state assembly in response to a question by an opposition Congress MLA, Mukesh Gadhvi.
A state official defending the government said, “We had told the Supreme Court that Sohrabuddin's encounter was fake, and at that time his involvement in many cases was not known, but we have sufficient information now regarding his links with the ISI and LeT. Till proved otherwise, he remains a suspected terrorist”.