Ahmedabad,September 01: SUSPENDED IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has put the Narendra Modi government in the dock with his allegation that it was Sohrabuddin Sheikh’s associate Tulsiram Prajapati who killed Haren Pandya.
According to Bhatt, the links of those involved go right up Gujarat’s former minister state for home Amit Shah, who was Modi’s right- hand man.
He alleged that former deputy commissioner of police Abhay Chudasma, a confidant of Shah, assigned Sohrabuddin with the job of killing Pandya.
“ The idea was to get a Muslim guy to carry out the job so that it appears to be a retribution killing,” Bhatt alleged.
“ Sohrabuddin outsourced the task to Kalimuddin, a middleman, who in turn picked Asgar Ali, a Hyderbad- based hitman, for the job,” Bhatt said. Kalimuddin brought Asgar — who the CBI listed the main accused — Ahmedabad, where he met Chudasma, he said.
“ Chudasma assured Ali logistical support, including providing the weapon, to carry out the job and Ali subsequently carried out a recee the purpose,” Bhatt said.
Ali, however, developed cold feet when he realised that murder could have communal implications and returned Hyderabad, according to Bhatt.
He later learnt that Sohrabbuddin had finally got the job done through his trusted lieutenant Tulsiram Prajapati.
While Bhatt declined to Chudasma’s higher- ups with the matter, the latter’s allegiance and proximity to Amit Shah was well- known. Shah, incidentally, was arrested the CBI in the Sohrabuddin murder case last year and Supreme Court barred him from entering Gujarat. He may also face arrest in the Prajapati fake encounter case.
It is widely believed that Pandya’s murder was politically motivated. There was bad blood between him and Modi because he had refused to vacate his Ellisbridge assembly constituency favour of the chief minister and had later deposed before the citizen’s tribunal probing the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Former IPS officer R. B. Shreekumar has also indicated that Pandya’s murder could be result of a political conspiracy.
In June 2002, the chief minis-
ter’s principal secretary P. K. Mishra had asked Sreekumar, then additional director general of police ( intelligence), to find out which minister in the Modi cabinet had deposed before the V. R. Khrishna Iyer inquiry commission.
Mishra also gave Shreekumar Pandya’s number and asked him to get the call details.
Shreekumar had recorded these instructions in his diary and later submitted them to the Nanavati- Mehta Commission, set up to probe the riots.
His diary entry on June 7, 2002 reads: “ P. K. Mishra, the principal secretary to the chief minister, asked me to find out as to who is the minister in the Modi cabinet who met a private inquiry commission in which retired Supreme Court Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer was also present.
“ Mishra added that Harenbhai Pandya, MoS, revenue, is suspected to be the minister involved in the matter. Thereafter, he gave one mobile number — 9824030629 — and asked to get call details.” On June 12, Shreekumar wrote in his diary: “ Informed P. K. Mishra that the minister of state who is suspected to have met the private inquiry commission is known to be Pandya… I also informed that the matter cannot, repeat cannot, be given in writing as this issue is quite sensitive and not connected with the charter of duties given ( the) state intelligence bureau… The call details of the mobile phone, 9824030629 were handed over to him through O. P. Mathur, IG ( security), in our office.” Shreekumar told M AIL T ODAY : “ Pandya had also deposed before the citizen’s tribunal and could have exposed much more than what he said to Justice Krishna Iyer Commission later, which would have completely ruined Modi’s political career.”
Thanks Mail today