Phone call records nail minister in Gujarat fake encounter case
The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) net is closing in on Gujarat’s minister of state for home Amit Shah, prime accused in the murder of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi. Mahesh Langa reports.india Updated: Jul 17, 2010 07:12 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) net is closing in on Gujarat’s minister of state for home Amit Shah, prime accused in the murder of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi.
The agency has phone records to prove that Shah spoke 31 times to NK Amin, an assistant commissioner of police in Ahmedabad’s Crime Branch, between November 22 and November 29, 2005, a source close to the developments told Hindustan Times.
Amin is in jail for allegedly killing Kauserbi at a farmhouse on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on November 29, 2005, three days after a joint team of the Gujarat and Rajasthan Police gunned down Sohrabuddin in a staged encounter, allegedly at the behest of Shah and a business lobby from which he (Sohrabuddin) was extorting money.
The phone calls stopped after Kauserbi’s murder.
Meanwhile, two close associates of the minister have confessed to the CBI that Shah — who has been the state’s home
minister since 2002 — had ordered them to "threaten, bribe, influence and prevent" witnesses from testifying and recording their statements before the CBI.
"This, plus some other evidence that the CBI has, makes the case against Shah airtight,” said the source.
But the "damning evidence" — the phone records — emerged from an examination of calls made from Amin’s office (079-25398549) and his mobile phone (9898055446) to Shah’s mobile phone (9824010090).
The records were collated by the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) after it was directed by the Supreme Court to investigate the case.
It was the CBI, however, which took over the case and all records recently, that joined the dots that connected Shah and Amin.
Shah’s call records were, however, mysteriously “missing”. HT, which visited Shah’s office, called him on his personal mobile (he has stopped using his official phone and car as the government maintains logs of these) and at his residence but couldn’t reach him for comments.
Gujarat government spokesman Jay Narayan Vyas, state DGP SS Khandwawala and IPS officer Geetha Johri, who had earlier headed the investigation, could also not be contacted for their comments.