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Supreme Court rap tightens the noose

IG Geeta Johri was reinstated hours after the SC asked the Gujarat government to explain why she was taken off the case, report Ketaki Ghoge & Satya Prakash.

india Updated: May 04, 2007 05:04 IST
Ketaki Ghoge & Satya Prakash
Ketaki Ghoge & Satya Prakash

The Gujrat government on Thursday handed back the probe into the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh to the same police officer who first reported that the 2005 encounter was staged by police teams from Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Inspector General of Police Geeta Johri was reinstated hours after the Supreme Court (SC) asked the Gujarat government to explain why she was taken off the case.

“I have taken over the investigations,” Johri told HT. She said she may not be able to complete the investigation by May 15 — the day the SC has asked the state government to submit the final status report. But she said she would make fair progress by then. Johri also indicated that some more arrests of policemen are likely on Friday.

Johri, who had submitted to the state government four interim reports on the fake encounter indicting senior officers, was shunted out of the probe in January, barely eight months after she started investigations.

CID sources said the decision to reinstate Johri was a last-ditch attempt by the Narendra Modi government to regain credibility. Earlier in the day, an SC bench pointed to allegations that Johri was taken off the probe for “some reasons”. The court also fixed May 15 for passing orders on a plea filed by Sohrabuddin’s brother for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the encounter. The Gujarat government has admitted that Sohrabuddin’s wife Kausar Bi was killed too.

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