By Rana Ayyub
Latest Update: Former Home Minister Amit Shah will be questioned by the CBI between July 28 and July 30 in Sabarmati Jail. The CBI has obtained permission for the interrogation to be recorded on camera – to guard against future retractions. Tehelka first retrieved the call records that implicated Shah in the encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Kauser Bi.
Update: Amit Shah has resigned and he has been arrested. CBI is yet to take custody and this is the major issue that BJP is raising in the monsoon session of the parliament that begins today. Arun Jaitley: “CBI is not an honest agency and is prone to political party interference.”
Tehelka’s investigations and its persistent endeavour to reveal the truth about the Sohrabuddin and other ‘encounters’ in Modi’s Gujarat, and the complicity of Gujarat Minister of State for Home (MoS), Amit Shah, has finally yielded results. The CBI, which is investigating the Sohrabuddin case, has finally made him the prime accused and filed a chargesheet against him for the murder of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi. Shah’s direct involvement in the affair was first brought to light by Tehelka, when we revealed the sinister links between MoS Shah and the ‘encounter cops’ in June this year, by publishing the records of calls made by him to the ‘encounter cops’, Vanzara, Pandian and Vipul Agarwal. They were already in custody for their involvement in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati encounter cases. On the basis of the call records, CBI managed to link Shah with the encounters. Tehelka was not just the first to publish the forensic reports of Tulsi Prajapati, which went on to prove the encounter was fake, but also named the witnesses, on the basis of whose incriminating statements, Shah’s involvement became crystal clear.
After Tehelka’ s expose of the call records, Shah had rushed to his mentors Narendra Modi and LK Advani seeking help, only to be alienated by the Gujarat Chief Minister. Understandable, considering that Modi could himself now come in the line of fire, as he holds additional charge of the Home department. What really undid Shah was, however, the publication of a Gujarat CID report in our expose, which showed Shah to have made a staggering 331 calls to the cops — quite unnatural and uncommon in general, and certainly not a part of official decorum.
Even as the CBI sets the stage for Amit Shah’s arrest, Tehelka has come to possess call records exchanged between Dy SP Narendra Amin and Amit Shah, during the three days around the date of the Sohrabuddin fake encounter, in which Amin informs Shah of the rape and subsequent killing of Sohrabuddin’s wife Kauser Bi by the police officers, after receiving instructions from Shah. It is these phone records, and statements which Tehelka has published made by the witnesses Raman Patel, Ajai Patel and Yashpal Chudasama, close associates of Shah all, which should be the final nail in the coffin for Shah.
Nemesis is finally catching up with both Shah and his mentor Narendra Modi, now facing the biggest threat to his prospects as a Prime Ministerial candidate. In the 2007 Gujarat assembly elections, he had used Sohrabuddin’s encounter as a trump card, claiming him to be a dreaded terrorist. Today, that same incident has come back to haunt him. The web of lies perpetrated by the Modi government on the spate of fake encounters in Gujarat since 2003, is now unravelling. Investigators have found enough leads to implicate Modi and his men in other encounters too, details of which will be presented in the Supreme Court on the 31st of this month.
Anticipating the arrest , the BJP, in a last throw of dice, is now out on a witch-hunt against the CBI, calling it the Congress Bureau of Investigation. Shah too, on his part, is trying to evade arrest by dodging the CBI and applying for anticipatory bail through his team of high profile lawyers that include the likes of Mahesh Jethmalani. The BJP, in its statements to the media after our expose, had suggested that Tehelka published the records to malign Shah. Today, they stand exposed in front of the country.
Excerpt: At a government celebration of Gujarat’s 50th founding day on May 1, home Minister Amit shah, long Modi’s second-in-command, was conspicuous by his absence. It soon became evident why shah, who had planned the mega event, had gone missing. two BJP leaders held a press conference the day after to express fears that the CBI “may also implicate some political leaders wrongly, and arrest them in connection with the case”
Excerpt: The call records for the week in which the planning and execution of the Prajapati encounter took place are in TEHELKA’S possession. Calls exchanged by Shah, DIG DG Vanzara, Superintendent of Police (SP) Vipul Kumar, IPS officer Dinesh MN of Rajasthan Police and SP Rajkumar Pandyan of the Gujarat Police suggest a sinister plan to eliminate the sole witness in the state-executed Sohrabuddin encounter.
Read the retrieved call records
Excerpt: Why then is the CBI not arresting Shah? Could it be that they are claiming they don’t have the call records? Or is it the bungling of the investigation, as an officer says who was involved with the case in the past? “Where is the CBI’s own investigation? Why did the CBI not search Chudasama’s house the day he was arrested? It does not have to rely on the Prajapati records to arrest Shah. There is enough in the Sohrabuddin case itself on the basis of which Shah can be arrested.”