In a big blow for the Gujarat government ahead of assembly elections at the end of the year, former state Home Minister and close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, has been chargesheeted by the CBI in the Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case.
Virtually the entire top brass of the Gujarat police that was posted in the CID when Tulsiram Prajapati was gunned down in an encounter in December 2006, has been put in the dock by the CBI in its chargesheet filed in a Banaskantha court.
Modi's trusted aide Amit Shah, who was minister in charge of the police force, then, is accused of murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence.
Not only has RK Patel, the CID Deputy SP who investigated the case been chargesheeted, his seniors, right up to the DGP, face possible arrest soon.
Among others who have been named in the case are - PC Pande, who was DGP when the Tulsi Prajapati encounter happened, Geetha Johri, who was IGP (CID) when Tulsi was killed and OP Mathur, who headed the CID as ADGP and is now retired.
All the three officers - PC Pande, OP Mathur and Johri - were supervisory officers in the CID's investigation of the encounter. The CBI clearly feels that they can be tried for destruction of evidence as they willfully led investigations in the wrong direction.
Johri says, "I've been framed wrongly in this case. I was the supervisor for this case for only two months. The CBI is used by the central government in centre-state politics.
Tulsi Prajapati was a close aide of Sohrabuddin Shaikh who was also killed in a fake encounter in November 2005. Tulsi was killed in December 2006 by the same set of cops who are presently behind bars for the killing of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife Kauser Bi.
The JMFC court at Danta in Banaskantha district has fixed September 10 as the date to hear an application by the accused whether the CBI can file its chargesheet at the Danta court or not. Once that matter is settled, the competent court will issue non-bailable warrants against those chargesheeted, leaving them with the only option of filing anticipatory bail pleas.