In an apparent move to further embarrass the beleaguered Narendra Modi government in Gujarat on the issue of fake encounters, the Central government has supported the demand of the petitioner in the Supreme Court for a CBI enquiry into the killing of his brother in a fake encounter in November 2005.
The Supreme Court is going to hear the petition of Rubabbuddin Sheikh, who is demanding a CBI enquiry into the murder of his brother Sohrabuddin Sheikh on November 26, 2005 in a joint operation by ATS Gujarat and STF Rajasthan.
The Gujarat police had recently arrested three senior IPS officials, one of who belongs to Rajasthan, for the fake encounter. The widow of the deceased Kausar Bi is still missing.
According to the petitioner, his brother was falsely branded as Lashkar-e-Tayiba militant while he had nothing to do with militant activity and his brother was only a petty criminal.
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium is his report submitted to the Supreme court has said, "This matter needs to be thoroughly probed hence it is submitted that an investigation by a special investigation team of the CBI should be directed to undertake this task, which could give periodical reports to this honourable court for consideration. IB reports have also been submitted in sealed cover to the Supreme Court."
According to the petitioner, one Tulsi Ram Prajapti, with whose help the deceased was traced, has also been killed in an encounter, as he was the only eyewitness to the fake killing.
Three officers -- Inspector General (border range) D G Vanzara, Superintendent of Police Rajkumar Pandayan of the state intelligence wing, and M N Dinesh, the SP of Rajasthan's Alwar district -- have been arrested for their alleged involvement in fake encounter and are on 7 days police remand for interrogation.
The Apex Court will hear the matter on Friday.
The Gujarat government, for the first time, admitted in the Supreme Court that some of the state's police officers were involved in fake encounters and that the state was going to act against them. Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah is also under cloud for trying to shield the guilty officers by interfering in the investigations.
Rajasthan, another BJP-ruled state, is however supporting its officer who has also been arrested and the state Home Minister Katariya had gone to Gujarat to ensure the release of his officers, who he claims to be the finest police officers in the state.
Earlier, senior counsel Indira Jaisingh submitted before the Apex Court that the state government has already admitted in the Gujarat assembly that 21 such fake encounters had taken place in the state of Gujarat.
The proccedings were initiated after the petitioner sent a letter to the Chief Justice of India in December 2005 alleging that his brother was eliminated after having been taken out from a bus going from Hyderabad to Sangli.