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Why CBI wants Shah custody now

Mystery deepens over the CBI request to the special court hearing the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case for a five-day custody of former Gujarat junior home minister Amit Shah. Stavan Desai

india Updated: Aug 04, 2010 00:59 IST
Stavan Desai

Mystery deepens over the CBI request to the special court hearing the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case for a five-day custody of former Gujarat junior home minister Amit Shah.

The CBI's request on Monday runs contrary to its assertion to the special court on July 25 when Shah was arrested that it did not require his custody.

A CBI officer said several new aspects of the case had come to the fore after the five-hour-long questioning of G C Raigar, former chief of the state CID, which initially handled the probe.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife, Kauser Bi, and a third person, Tulsi Prajapati, were picked up by a joint team of the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in Andhra Pradesh on November 23, 2005.

On November 26, Sheikh was killed in a staged encounter, while Kauser Bi was eliminated a few days later.

He said, "We now want to question Shah about the manner in which the initial probe was derailed and certain officers were benefited out of turn."

The CBI claimed that corruption charges against Anil Johri, an India Forest Service officer and husband of IGP Geetha Johri, last supervising officer of the case, was suddenly dropped in October 2008.

Second, former CID chief O P Mathur and former state police chief P C Pande got plush post-retirement postings.

Third, former deputy inspector general D G Vanjara, a prime accused in the case, was abruptly transferred to take charge of the border range within days of the encounter death of Tulsi Prajapati, a key witness.

Finally, Raigar was shifted overnight from the CID after he refused to toe the government line to scuttle the probe.

What's more, Rajnish Rai, a DIG, was allegedly victimised after he made the first arrest of three IPS officers in the case.