NEW DELHI: A day after CBI court in Mumbai acquitted all 22 accused in the ‘fake’ encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shiekh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took a veiled dig at the court decision saying, “NO ONE KILLED…Shiekh, his associate Tulsiram Prajapati and rape-cum-murder of his wife Kausar Bi.
Rahul Gandhi took to his twitter and wrote, “NO ONE KILLED… Haren Pandya. Tulsiram Prajapati. Justice Loya. Prakash Thombre. Shrikant Khandalkar. Kauser Bi. Sohrabuddin Shiekh. THEY JUST DIED.”
NO ONE KILLED…
THEY JUST DIED.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 22, 2018
Judge SJ Sharma in his last verdict on Friday before he retires on December 31, acquitted all 22 accused in the politically sensitive case, saying “witnesses and proofs were not satisfactory”.
The judge said that he was “helpless” and apologises to families of Sohrabuddin and Prajapati who lost their loved ones. However, the “system and law demands that the court goes solely by evidence”.
The much-awaited verdict in the case came more than 12 years after the alleged ‘fake encounters‘ of Sohrabuddin and his associate Prajapati, besides the rape-and-murder of Sohrabuddin’s wife, Kausar Bi.
The 22 accused, including 21 lower police officials of Gujarat-Rajasthan police, who have been acquitted are: M.L. Parmar, Raman Singh, Narayansing Dhabi, Shyam Singh, Abdur Rehman, Himanshu Singh Rajawat, Balkrishna Choubey, Rajubhai Jeerawala, Ajay Parmar, Shantram Sharma, Yudhveer Singh, Kartar Singh, Narayan Singh Jat, Vijaykumar Rathod, C.P. Srinivasa Rao, Jethu Solanki, Kiran Singh Chauhan, Vinod Limbachia, Kanjibhai Kutchi, Karan Singh Sishodia, Ashish Pandya, and Naresh Chauhan.
According to the prosecution, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) had gunned down Sohrabuddin on November 26, 2005, in an alleged staged killing.
Prajapati was also killed in a similar fashion on December 28, 2006, while Kausar Bi, who had witnessed the abduction of her husband (Sohrabuddin) was later raped and murdered.
These killings kicked off a major political controversy in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Gujarat then, with allegations of the purported involvement of several top political bigwigs, IPS officers and other officials.
A total of 37 accused were named in the case of whom 16 — mostly politicians and IPS officers — were subsequently discharged by the Special CBI Court in Mumbai and another by the Bombay High Court.
Among those discharged initially were BJP President Amit Shah, who was the Gujarat Home Minister at the relevant time, the then Rajasthan Home Minister G.C. Kataria, high-profile ATS chief and DIG D.G. Vanzara, Superintendents of Police M.N. Dinesh and R.K. Pandian, among many others.
With agency inputs