Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sohrab case: CBI heat on top AP cops to turn witnesses

The top cops from the state said to be involved in the Sohrabuddin encounter might very well turn witnesses in the case.

Although the AP Police is maintaining that the involvement of their officials in the alleged fake encounter cannot be held culpable as they had presumed the help sought from the Gujarat police as an official request, the CBI, which is investigating the case, has told them to turn witnesses failing which the heat on them could be even more severe.

An AP cadre IPS officer, a Gujarat cadre officer posted in the CRPF in the state and a city ACP are said to be sought by the CBI to be quizzed in the Sohrabuddin encounter case. "Two of the three are not in city right now. They have been asked to come here and all the three will be questioned in the next few days," said sources.

The CBI team headed by a DIG rank official is expected to land in the city later this week. Already, a team of Mumbai CBI Special Crime Cell headed by a DSP rank official is stationed in the city to investigate the role of AP officials in the encounter.

"They are recording statements from various police officials up to the rank of DSP/ACP who provided logistical support to the Gujarat ATS team headed by SP Rajkumar Pandian way back in 2005," said the sources.

The allegation is that the Gujarat cadre official posted with the CRPF unit in the city provided accommodation to the Gujarat ATS team that came here to ‘kidnap’ Sohrabuddin. The other accused officials arranged vehicles for the team and assisted them in picking up Sohrabuddin along with his wife Kauser Bi and friend Prajapati near Sangli in Maharashtra.

According to the CBI sources, the AP officials can minimise any action against them by turning witnesses in the case. "However, the catch for these officials is that if they agree to become witnesses, the admission will lessen their roles but tighten the noose on the Gujarat cops," said the sources.

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