A DEFENCELESS SOHRABUDDIN IS KILLED

A DEFENCELESS SOHRABUDDIN IS KILLED

CRYING FOUL: Protestors of a leftwing women’s front demand action against the guilty. Gujarat MoS (Home) and Modi acolyte Amit Shah is high on the hit-list of those demanding accountability and action
Janak Patel

A few hours before the cops shifted Kausar Bi, they took Sohrabuddin away from Disha Farm and killed him, camouflaging it as a police encounter. On the morning of November 26, television channels started flashing the news: Supercop DIG Vanzara and Co. have foiled a major terror bid by killing Sohrabuddin, a dreaded Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist. In a press conference later, Vanzara said that Sohrabuddin was planning to eliminate Narendra Modi.

First the fiction — from the FIR filed by the ATS: “On 25.11.2005, at 11.00 hours in the night, ATS police inspector NH Dhabhi received secret information that Sohrabuddin has come to Ahmedabad from Surat and today (26.11.2005) morning on a motor cycle he is going to pass from Narol Circle to Juhapura Sarkhej of the city to meet some Nazir.” A joint team of the Ahmedabad ATS and the Udaipur Police was formed to carry out the ‘encounter’. The team, along with others, included Inspector Dhabhi and constable Santram Sharma, both of whom had gone to Hyderabad and were part of the team that picked up Sohrabuddin, his wife and their companion from the bus. The ATS FIR further states: “Today on 26.11.2005, at about 5:20 hours, one motorbike rider was found coming on Naroda road from far. On coming nearer in light of battery Shri Dabhi Saheb recognised that he is Sohrabuddin. Therefore I (Udaipur Police inspector Abdul Rehman) and Shyam Singh and my colleague ATS Himanshu Singh (both from Udaipur Police) who were close, stood out on the road and by telling ‘Police is, therefore stop’ and made a sign to stop.”

DIG Vanzara, accused of staging other fake encounters, perhaps emboldened by his success rate, never bothered to explain why they didn’t manage to apprehend Sohrabuddin when they had such pinpointed information. The FIR continues to say that on seeing the police party Sohrabuddin attempted to turn around but the motorbike slipped. “But jumping over Sohrabuddin stood out on one side…and by taking out revolver from his waist belt took an aim at asi Chaubey. But he moved to a side and at that time I (Inspector Rehman) by taking out my service revolver told him that ‘Come and get arrested under Udaipur police’… then instead of surrendering he started firing from…Under this situation, I fired two rounds from my service pistol, asi Shyam Singh fired one round, asi Himanshu Singh fired two rounds and police inspector Dhabhi fired three rounds from his service revolver.”

Minister of State for Home Amit Shah told the cops that Kausar Bi was not Sohrabuddin’s lawfully wedded wife and ‘as she was a Pakistani, she might have escaped to Pakistan’

Here are the facts, as narrated by Pandian’s personal assistant constable Ajaykumar Bhagwandas Parmar, whose statement was recorded by the enquiry team headed by ig Geetha Johri. He told the enquiry officer that at around 4am on November 26, he was instructed by Inspector Dhabhi to bring a Hero Honda motorcycle lying in the backyard of the ATS office to Narol Circle. On reaching Narol Circle, Parmar saw that DIG Vanzara, sp Pandian and Udaipur sp Dinesh MN were present there. He says that after a while a Maruti car pulled up and dy sp Parmar and Inspector Chaube emerged with Sohrabuddin. He further says that “at that time, a Rajasthan police sub-inspector took away the motorcycle brought by me, drove it for a short distance and jumped off and the motorcycle skidded along the road. At that time Sohrabuddin was pulled out of the Maruti car by inspector Chaube and was thrown onto the road. Then pi Abdul Rehman fired two rounds from his service pistol, asi Shyam Singh fired one round, asi Himanshu Singh two rounds and pi Dhabhi three rounds. After that, Sohrabuddin was lying in a pool of blood. Thereafter Vanzara instructed dy sp Parmar to take Sohrabuddin to the civil hospital.”

THE MURDER MOTIVE
The Action Taken Reports are mum on the motive behind the killings and Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president BharATSinh Solanki is alleging that the state government has made crores by the killings. Highly-placed sources handling the case have told Tehelka that the arrested ATS officers received Rs 60 lakh from a marble trader from Rajasthan to liquidate Sohrabuddin. Sources said that the supari was given through a senior BJP general secretary related to the marble trader. Given the level of fear in the corridors of power — wherein senior police officers communicated with these reporters via notes scribbled on scraps of paper, fearing that their offices and phones were bugged — officials revealed that the government is not letting them bring the supari aspect on record. The level of fear can be gauged from the fact that several lower level policemen who were part of the fake killings, and who then gave their statements, have now gone into hiding.

HOW SOHRABUDDIN’S FRIEND WAS KILLED
After Sohrabuddin was killed on November 26 and his wife Kausar Bi went missing, Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubbabuddin Shaikh knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court. His letter was treated as a petition and forwarded to the Director General of Police of Gujarat for further inquiry. Gujarat DGP PC Pande wrote to Inspector General of Police, State CID (crime), Geetha Johri on June 7, 2006 and a case was registered as Enquiry No 66/06 with the state CID (crime).

By handing the charge of the CID to a tainted officer, OP Mathur, Shah apparently ensured more pliability in the probe from him and his subordinates

Once Johri’s team started establishing the shocking truth, the encounter cops headed by Vanzara sensed trouble. They realised that Sohrabuddin’s friend Tulsiram Prajapati was still alive to nail their lies. After Sohrabuddin’s encounter, Prajapati was shown arrested in Udaipur. Since then he had been loDGed in Central Jail in Udaipur. Aware that Prajapati was an important witness, another plot was hatched by the same three encounter specialists. On December 26, 2006 Prajapati was brought to Ahmedabad by the Udaipur police to attend a date in the court of 13th metropolitan magistrate in connection with an old offence registered at Navrangpura police station, Ahmedabad.

Here again, is some more fiction: After the court appearance, when the train in which Prajapati was being escorted back stopped at Himmatnagar railway station, the Udaipur police claim, that two men threw chilli powder in the eyes of cops escorting Prajapati and secured his release. The police claim that two days later, in the wee hours of December 28, when a team of Rajasthan and Gujarat police were patrolling in Ambaji town, Banasakantha district, they saw three individuals trying to stop a matador. But the matador did not stop. The three individuals then tried to stop the police van in which the patrol team was travelling.

At that point, one assistant sub-inspector recognised one of the three men as Prajapati who then fired at the police van, says the police FIR. The bullet hit the jeep and all three started running away, says the FIR. It then states that, on being chased, two men escaped whereas Prajapati stopped, turned back and fired at the police. The police retaliated and Prajapati was killed. The encounter took place at 5am on a winter morning. How the police could have identified Prajapati in pitch darkness is anybody’s guess.

The SP, Banasakantha district, has stated on record that the information regarding Prajapati’s escape was conveyed to him by Udaipur sp Dinesh MN — the same officer who was part of the team that killed Sohrabuddin. The other question that arises is why would Prajapati, after making an escape, roam around in Ambajai town of Banasakantha district. CoinCIDentally, Prajapati was killed in Banasakantha within two weeks of Vanzara taking over as DIG of Border range comprising Banasakntha district. As in Sohrabuddin’s killing, in Prajapati’s encounter too, police from Gujarat and Rajasthan were involved.

THE COVER-UP CONTINUES
Though the Supreme Court had asked the DGP Gujarat PC Pande to start an enquiry by its letter dated January 21, 2006, Pande took as many as six months before he asked IGP, CID (Crime) Geetha Johri to start the enquiry. The first letter that Pande addressed to Johri was dated June 7, 2006. Johri formed a team led by Inspector VL Solanki to enquire into the matter. Solanki submitted two interim enquiry reports to Johri dated September 1, 2006 and December 7, 2006 which made it clear that Sohrabuddin was not killed in an encounter as the ATS claimed but was first picked up along with his wife Kausar Bi from a bus and detained for several days.

Based on these reports Johri sent a report to DGP Pande dated December 7, 2006. However, Pande never submitted this report to the Supreme Court. Instead, it was Additional DGP, Human Rights, Chitranjan Singh who forwarded a copy of the Johri report to the Apex court. After this, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam wrote to the Assistant Solicitor General of the Gujarat High Court, Harin Raval, asking him to obtain copies of all the reports that the CID might have had submitted to DGP Pande.

Following this, Pande gave Raval a copy of Johri’s report which was then sent to Subramaniam. On December 18, 2006 when Johri and Solanki were all set to go to Hyderabad for further enquiry then Additional DG CID GC Raigar suspended the enquiry and took away all the papers from Johri on the pretext of scrutiny. As a result Johiri and Solanki’s trip to Hyderabad was cancelled. On December 28, Tulsiram Prajapati was killed in a so-called encounter.

At this stage, CID sources told Tehelka, Minister of State for Home Amit Shah directed GC Raigar to provide him with a list of all the witnesses who were mentioned in the interim reports. On January 30, 2006 Amit Shah called a meeting of DGP Pande, Addl DG GC Raigar and ig Johri at the circuit house, Gandhinagar. In the meeting Shah tried to impress upon the cops that Kausar Bi was not a lawfully married wife of Sohrabuddin and “as she was a Pakistani she might have escaped to Pakistan.” Later when Johri put up a note before Addl DG CID for registering an offence against Vanzara, Pandian, Dinesh MN and other officers, the latter while approving the note orally instructed Johri to not register the FIR without his instructions.

In the first week of February, Shah relieved GC Raigar of the charge of Addl DG CID and instead brought in Addl DG (Prisons) OP Mathur and gave him the additional charge of Addl DG CID. Mathur has already been served with a departmental chargesheet in a complaint of sexual harassment lodged against him. By handing over the charge of the CID to a tainted officer, Shah apparently ensured more pliability from Mathur and his subordinates in the ongoing probe. In the first week of March, as expected, Mathur took away the enquiry from Johri and handed it over to IGP, CID, Keshav Kumar.

On March 30, the investigation was handed over to DIG Rajnish Rai. Rai, unknown to even the DGP, made some swift moves and on March 24 arrested Vanzara, Pandian and Dinesh MN. Rattled by Rai’s alacrity, DGP Pande issued yet another directive and made OP Mathur, the Addl DG, the supervisory in-charge.

Clearly, the Gujarat government is still dragging its feet. Human lives truly come cheap in Modi Land.

A few hours before the cops shifted Kausar Bi, they took Sohrabuddin away from Disha Farm and killed him, camouflaging it as a police encounter. On the morning of November 26, television channels started flashing the news: Supercop DIG Vanzara and Co. have foiled a major terror bid by killing Sohrabuddin, a dreaded Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist. In a press conference later, Vanzara said that Sohrabuddin was planning to eliminate Narendra Modi.

First the fiction — from the FIR filed by the ATS: “On 25.11.2005, at 11.00 hours in the night, ATS police inspector NH Dhabhi received secret information that Sohrabuddin has come to Ahmedabad from Surat and today (26.11.2005) morning on a motor cycle he is going to pass from Narol Circle to Juhapura Sarkhej of the city to meet some Nazir.” A joint team of the Ahmedabad ATS and the Udaipur Police was formed to carry out the ‘encounter’. The team, along with others, included Inspector Dhabhi and constable Santram Sharma, both of whom had gone to Hyderabad and were part of the team that picked up Sohrabuddin, his wife and their companion from the bus. The ATS FIR further states: “Today on 26.11.2005, at about 5:20 hours, one motorbike rider was found coming on Naroda road from far. On coming nearer in light of battery Shri Dabhi Saheb recognised that he is Sohrabuddin. Therefore I (Udaipur Police inspector Abdul Rehman) and Shyam Singh and my colleague ATS Himanshu Singh (both from Udaipur Police) who were close, stood out on the road and by telling ‘Police is, therefore stop’ and made a sign to stop.”

DIG Vanzara, accused of staging other fake encounters, perhaps emboldened by his success rate, never bothered to explain why they didn’t manage to apprehend Sohrabuddin when they had such pinpointed information. The FIR continues to say that on seeing the police party Sohrabuddin attempted to turn around but the motorbike slipped. “But jumping over Sohrabuddin stood out on one side…and by taking out revolver from his waist belt took an aim at asi Chaubey. But he moved to a side and at that time I (Inspector Rehman) by taking out my service revolver told him that ‘Come and get arrested under Udaipur police’… then instead of surrendering he started firing from…Under this situation, I fired two rounds from my service pistol, asi Shyam Singh fired one round, asi Himanshu Singh fired two rounds and police inspector Dhabhi fired three rounds from his service revolver.”

Minister of State for Home Amit Shah told the cops that Kausar Bi was not Sohrabuddin’s lawfully wedded wife and ‘as she was a Pakistani, she might have escaped to Pakistan’

Here are the facts, as narrated by Pandian’s personal assistant constable Ajaykumar Bhagwandas Parmar, whose statement was recorded by the enquiry team headed by ig Geetha Johri. He told the enquiry officer that at around 4am on November 26, he was instructed by Inspector Dhabhi to bring a Hero Honda motorcycle lying in the backyard of the ATS office to Narol Circle. On reaching Narol Circle, Parmar saw that DIG Vanzara, sp Pandian and Udaipur sp Dinesh MN were present there. He says that after a while a Maruti car pulled up and dy sp Parmar and Inspector Chaube emerged with Sohrabuddin. He further says that “at that time, a Rajasthan police sub-inspector took away the motorcycle brought by me, drove it for a short distance and jumped off and the motorcycle skidded along the road. At that time Sohrabuddin was pulled out of the Maruti car by inspector Chaube and was thrown onto the road. Then pi Abdul Rehman fired two rounds from his service pistol, asi Shyam Singh fired one round, asi Himanshu Singh two rounds and pi Dhabhi three rounds. After that, Sohrabuddin was lying in a pool of blood. Thereafter Vanzara instructed dy sp Parmar to take Sohrabuddin to the civil hospital.”

THE MURDER MOTIVE
The Action Taken Reports are mum on the motive behind the killings and Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president BharATSinh Solanki is alleging that the state government has made crores by the killings. Highly-placed sources handling the case have told Tehelka that the arrested ATS officers received Rs 60 lakh from a marble trader from Rajasthan to liquidate Sohrabuddin. Sources said that the supari was given through a senior BJP general secretary related to the marble trader. Given the level of fear in the corridors of power — wherein senior police officers communicated with these reporters via notes scribbled on scraps of paper, fearing that their offices and phones were bugged — officials revealed that the government is not letting them bring the supari aspect on record. The level of fear can be gauged from the fact that several lower level policemen who were part of the fake killings, and who then gave their statements, have now gone into hiding.

HOW SOHRABUDDIN’S FRIEND WAS KILLED
After Sohrabuddin was killed on November 26 and his wife Kausar Bi went missing, Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubbabuddin Shaikh knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court. His letter was treated as a petition and forwarded to the Director General of Police of Gujarat for further inquiry. Gujarat DGP PC Pande wrote to Inspector General of Police, State CID (crime), Geetha Johri on June 7, 2006 and a case was registered as Enquiry No 66/06 with the state CID (crime).

By handing the charge of the CID to a tainted officer, OP Mathur, Shah apparently ensured more pliability in the probe from him and his subordinates

Once Johri’s team started establishing the shocking truth, the encounter cops headed by Vanzara sensed trouble. They realised that Sohrabuddin’s friend Tulsiram Prajapati was still alive to nail their lies. After Sohrabuddin’s encounter, Prajapati was shown arrested in Udaipur. Since then he had been loDGed in Central Jail in Udaipur. Aware that Prajapati was an important witness, another plot was hatched by the same three encounter specialists. On December 26, 2006 Prajapati was brought to Ahmedabad by the Udaipur police to attend a date in the court of 13th metropolitan magistrate in connection with an old offence registered at Navrangpura police station, Ahmedabad.

Here again, is some more fiction: After the court appearance, when the train in which Prajapati was being escorted back stopped at Himmatnagar railway station, the Udaipur police claim, that two men threw chilli powder in the eyes of cops escorting Prajapati and secured his release. The police claim that two days later, in the wee hours of December 28, when a team of Rajasthan and Gujarat police were patrolling in Ambaji town, Banasakantha district, they saw three individuals trying to stop a matador. But the matador did not stop. The three individuals then tried to stop the police van in which the patrol team was travelling.

At that point, one assistant sub-inspector recognised one of the three men as Prajapati who then fired at the police van, says the police FIR. The bullet hit the jeep and all three started running away, says the FIR. It then states that, on being chased, two men escaped whereas Prajapati stopped, turned back and fired at the police. The police retaliated and Prajapati was killed. The encounter took place at 5am on a winter morning. How the police could have identified Prajapati in pitch darkness is anybody’s guess.

The SP, Banasakantha district, has stated on record that the information regarding Prajapati’s escape was conveyed to him by Udaipur sp Dinesh MN — the same officer who was part of the team that killed Sohrabuddin. The other question that arises is why would Prajapati, after making an escape, roam around in Ambajai town of Banasakantha district. CoinCIDentally, Prajapati was killed in Banasakantha within two weeks of Vanzara taking over as DIG of Border range comprising Banasakntha district. As in Sohrabuddin’s killing, in Prajapati’s encounter too, police from Gujarat and Rajasthan were involved.

THE COVER-UP CONTINUES
Though the Supreme Court had asked the DGP Gujarat PC Pande to start an enquiry by its letter dated January 21, 2006, Pande took as many as six months before he asked IGP, CID (Crime) Geetha Johri to start the enquiry. The first letter that Pande addressed to Johri was dated June 7, 2006. Johri formed a team led by Inspector VL Solanki to enquire into the matter. Solanki submitted two interim enquiry reports to Johri dated September 1, 2006 and December 7, 2006 which made it clear that Sohrabuddin was not killed in an encounter as the ATS claimed but was first picked up along with his wife Kausar Bi from a bus and detained for several days.

Based on these reports Johri sent a report to DGP Pande dated December 7, 2006. However, Pande never submitted this report to the Supreme Court. Instead, it was Additional DGP, Human Rights, Chitranjan Singh who forwarded a copy of the Johri report to the Apex court. After this, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam wrote to the Assistant Solicitor General of the Gujarat High Court, Harin Raval, asking him to obtain copies of all the reports that the CID might have had submitted to DGP Pande.

Following this, Pande gave Raval a copy of Johri’s report which was then sent to Subramaniam. On December 18, 2006 when Johri and Solanki were all set to go to Hyderabad for further enquiry then Additional DG CID GC Raigar suspended the enquiry and took away all the papers from Johri on the pretext of scrutiny. As a result Johiri and Solanki’s trip to Hyderabad was cancelled. On December 28, Tulsiram Prajapati was killed in a so-called encounter.

At this stage, CID sources told Tehelka, Minister of State for Home Amit Shah directed GC Raigar to provide him with a list of all the witnesses who were mentioned in the interim reports. On January 30, 2006 Amit Shah called a meeting of DGP Pande, Addl DG GC Raigar and ig Johri at the circuit house, Gandhinagar. In the meeting Shah tried to impress upon the cops that Kausar Bi was not a lawfully married wife of Sohrabuddin and “as she was a Pakistani she might have escaped to Pakistan.” Later when Johri put up a note before Addl DG CID for registering an offence against Vanzara, Pandian, Dinesh MN and other officers, the latter while approving the note orally instructed Johri to not register the FIR without his instructions.

In the first week of February, Shah relieved GC Raigar of the charge of Addl DG CID and instead brought in Addl DG (Prisons) OP Mathur and gave him the additional charge of Addl DG CID. Mathur has already been served with a departmental chargesheet in a complaint of sexual harassment lodged against him. By handing over the charge of the CID to a tainted officer, Shah apparently ensured more pliability from Mathur and his subordinates in the ongoing probe. In the first week of March, as expected, Mathur took away the enquiry from Johri and handed it over to IGP, CID, Keshav Kumar.

On March 30, the investigation was handed over to DIG Rajnish Rai. Rai, unknown to even the DGP, made some swift moves and on March 24 arrested Vanzara, Pandian and Dinesh MN. Rattled by Rai’s alacrity, DGP Pande issued yet another directive and made OP Mathur, the Addl DG, the supervisory in-charge.

Clearly, the Gujarat government is still dragging its feet. Human lives truly come cheap in Modi Land.

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