Ex-DySP, in his deposition, gives court details of his investigation in the case
The chief investigating officer of the Gujarat Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which had called the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter ‘fake’, told the Special CBI Court on Wednesday that not only the encounter, but also the first information report (FIR) lodged by the Gujarat Police officers was fake.
Gambhir Singh Paderia, retired deputy superintendent of police of Gujarat CID, while deposing before the court of Judge SJ Sharma, gave the details of how he had conducted the investigation and recorded statements of various witnesses as well as accused in 2007.
He also produced various documents related to the investigation carried out by him – panchnamas of the spot from where Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly abducted, Sohrabuddin’s encounter spot, where they were kept, and where Kauser Bi was burnt after being killed.
Giving details of the investigation, Paderia told the court that he had formed teams which went to various places and met different witnesses in the case. He told the court that he went to Hyderabad along with another officer and recorded the statement of an IPS officer who had confirmed a meeting with the accused IPS officer RK Pandiyan – who has now been discharged in the case – before the encounter. He also told the court that he had recorded statements of witnesses connected to the abduction and transportation of Sohrabuddin and Kauser Bi.
Most of these witnesses, however, have turned hostile during the trial.
During his cross-examination by advocate Wahab Khan, Paderia told the court that he did not collect any forensic evidence from any of the spots. He also said that he did not know why the CID made four people witnesses in the case about whom he had sought permission to be made accused, after he left case due to health reasons.
Sohrabuddin, a suspected gangster, was killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat Police in November 2005. His wife Kausar Bi was also allegedly killed.
Tulsi Prajapati, an aide of Shaikh who was said to be a witness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by police at Chapri in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district in December 2006.