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Sohrabuddin's brother demands reinstatement of DIG

The ghost of Gujarat encounter victim Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi continues to haunt the state Government, reports Satya Prakash.
None | By Satya Prakash, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 13, 2007 11:44 PM IST

The ghost of Gujarat encounter victim Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi continues to haunt the state Government.

The Narendra Modi Government may have thought that it can satisfy the Supreme Court by restoring IGP Geetha Johri in the team probing the fake encounter but it was perhaps mistaken. Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabbuddin Sheikh has questioned the state government's move to remove Gujarat Police DIG (CID) Rajnish Rai, credited with the arrest of three senior IPS officers including D G Vanzara in the case.

In a fresh plea before the apex court ahead of the May 15 hearing, Rubabbuddin demanded reinstatement of Rai, who was removed from the probe team on May three within hours of the court asking the state government to explain why Johri was removed from the case.

Rubabbuddin alleged that Gujarat DGP P C Pandey removed Rai from the investigation, as the former was unhappy with the honest, impartial and proactive investigation of the latter.

Emphasising that he never sought Rai's ouster from the probe, Rubabbuddin submitted that the investigation could easily have continued with Rai as the investigating Officer and Johri being his supervisory officer.

Pointing out that even before the court sought explanation about Johri's removal from the probe, Pandey had on April 27 issued a letter virtually stripping Rai of all powers of investigation, he requested the court to direct the state not to change the probe team.
Raising serious questions about Pandey's alleged partisan role during the post-Godhra riots in Ahmedabad, he urged the court to hand over the probe to the CBI.

The court would consider his plea on May 15 when it takes up Gujarat Government's final status report on the November 2005 fake encounter of Sohrabuddin and the subsequent killing of his wife Kausar Bi. The State Government is likely to ask for more time as Johri had earlier said that she might not be able to complete the investigation by May 15.

The Centre has supported the plea for a CBI probe but the state government opposed the demand for CBI probe on the ground that it might be used for political purposes.

Sohrabuddin was allegedly picked up along with his wife while travelling from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra. He was killed on November 26, 2005 and branded an LeT terrorist plotting to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

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