The CBI on Tuesday added another high profile name, that of former Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria, to the list of accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case in Gujarat.
The four new accused also include Andhra Pradesh police officers, IAS Narsimha Balasubramaniam and inspector G Srinivasa Rao, and director of RK Marbles Vimal Patni.
Kataria is the second high profile politician to be named after former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah, the alleged mastermind of the killing.
Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad from Sangli, Maharashra and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005. In December 2006, Tulsiram Prajapati, a key witness to the encounter, was also killed similarly.
After the CBI filed the 500-page supplementary chargesheet, the special court issued summons to the four accused to appear before it on June 4.
The CBI has alleged Sohrabuddin was “eliminated” for demanding R 24 crore from Patni who was introduced to Shah by Kataria, the then Rajasthan home minister.
The two police officers allegedly facilitated the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in abduction of Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi.
The number of total accused in the case has now gone up to 23.
Sources said call data records revealed that Balasubramaniam, then the SP of Ongole district in Andhra, was in constant touch with one of the key accused DG Vanzara, then DIG of the Gujarat police.
The Supreme Court had last year transferred the trial of Sohrabuddin Sheikh killing case to Maharashtra from Gujarat as the CBI said witnesses were being intimidated and the trial could not be held in a free and fair manner in Gujarat.