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Prosecution does not question witness on a point that would help its case

Wednesday, August 08, 2018
By Bhavna Uchil

Sohrabuddin - Tulsiram killing case

The witness had stated earlier that he had not seen signs of chilli powder being thrown on eyes of accused

Of the four witnesses examined in the Sohrabuddin – Tulsiram alleged fake encounter case by the prosecution yesterday, the prosecution did not bring on record in court a point that was central to its case in circumstances surrounding Tulsiram Prajapati's alleged escape while in police custody.

A witness – Sanabhai Baranda, it examined was Assistant Sub-Inspector in Himmat Nagar Outpost of Gujarat under which the railway station Shamlaji falls, from near which Tulsiram had allegedly escaped while returning from a court production in Ahmedabad to Udaipur.

An important point that had come in Baranda's earlier statements to the CBI is that he had not seen any signs of chilli powder being thrown in the eyes of the police constables Yudhveer Sinh and Kartar Sinh, now accused in the case. This is an important point as it is the version of the defence, that two men had entered the train, thrown chilli powder into the eyes of these policemen and helped Tulsiram escape.

Special Public Prosecutor B P Raju did not question the witness on this point. The witness stated about a mobile being seized from the place of offence. This statement only helped the defence version, according to which Tulsiram's location was traced after his escape with the help of this mobile phone.

Tulsiram had died in an encounter subsequently, alleged to be a fake encounter. According to the prosecution case, the mobile was planted at the spot and the escape story is concocted as Tulsiram was not in the train at all.

Two other witnesses who testified, belonged to the reserve police line. While one said he had not travelled on November 27, 2006 for escort of Tulsiram to Ahmedabad, another said he had not travelled along with escort party for the same purpose on December 11, 2006.

The prosecution case is that instead of them, unlike shown in the railway warrant, some of the accused had travelled. On reaching Ahmedabad, Tulsiram was taken to ATS office in Ahmedabad on one of these occasions.

The last witness to testify was Vasant Solanki, an executive magistrate who had conducted inquest panchanama of Sohrabuddin's dead body after the alleged fake encounter. Such a panchnama is conducted when a person dies under suspicious circumstances.

Again, a point not taken on record is that as per a document, the clothes of Sohrabuddin were seized in the ATS office. Yesterday, in court, the witness said that they were handed over to an investigating officer M L Parmar, now an accused in the case, once the inquest panchnama was prepared.

Sources say the FSL reports of these clothes indicate towards foul play. SPP Raju stopped short of asking what clothes were removed and ascertaining if they were removed.

The special court is hearing the alleged fake encounter cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati. Sohrabuddin was killed in an alleged fake encounter as he was supposedly planning the killing of an important political leader of Gujarat, assumed to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then the chief minister of the state. Prajapati, his associate, who was a witness to Sheikh's abduction before the killing, was killed a year later in 2006.

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