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Sohrab encounter haunts Amit Shah

Gujarat’s Minister of State for Home and Law and Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s trusted lieutenant Amit Shah might soon be arrested by the CBI in connection with the November 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
UPDATED ON JUN 30, 2010 12:06 AM IST

Gujarat’s Minister of State for Home and Law and Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s trusted lieutenant Amit Shah might soon be arrested by the CBI in connection with the November 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, a senior official said here on condition of anonymity on Tuesday.

Possibly fearing arrest, Shah has been incommunicado for the past two months.

Shah’s disappearance coincided with the arrest of senior police officer Abhay Chudasama by the CBI on April 28 for his involvement in Sohrabuddin’s killing.

The official pointed out that a Delhi-based weekly had recently published details of Shah’s calls to four police officers during the December 2006 killing of Prajapati Tulsi, the sole witness to the alleged murder of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauserbi by Gujarat Police officers.

Shah hasn’t been seen in his office for the past two months, has stopped using his official mobile phone and has even quit traveling in his official car.

Shah attends the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesdays but hardly goes to his office, sources in the state secretariat said.

“He calls police officials and others to his residence for meetings,” a home department official said.

Even the state government spokesperson and Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas refused to comment on the matter.

When Hindustan Times called at Shah’s office, officials said they didn’t know when the minister comes and goes. At his residence, the telephone operator said the minister was not at home. When his personal mobile number was sought from his office and residence, the response was, “We don’t have his mobile number”.

Official sources said the minister has been under tremendous stress since the Supreme Court handed over the Sohrabuddin case to the CBI, and more particularly after the arrest of Chudasama, who was Shah’s key confidant.

Sources said the minister has lost more than 10 kg due to stress after the CBI began its investigation into the sensational Sohrabuddin case.

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