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Never made submission for his safety: Tulsiram's advocate

Thursday, July 12, 2018
By Bhavna Uchil

Sohrabuddin-Tulsiram killing case

Tulsiram had allegedly told her about threat to his life from Gujarat and Rajasthan police

Of the two more witnesses who were declared hostile by the prosecution in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter case, one was Tulsiram's advocate Krishna Tripathi.

Tripathi had appeared for Tulsiram in three theft cases in which he was involved in Ujjain. She had been allocated his cases by the Legal Aid Cell of the court as Tulsiram could not afford to engage a lawyer. In her previous statement to the CBI, she had said that during Tulsiram's appearance before the court of Judicial Magistrate in Ujjain in February 2006, he had looked severely stressed.

Her statements also said that he had told her when asked that he feared for his life from Gujarat and Rajasthan police who would kill him in a false encounter by showing him as having escaped from custody. When asked the reason, Tulsiram had told her, according to her statements, that Gujarat police had used him in tracing Sohrabuddin from Hyderabad. That he, Sohrabuddin and Sohrabuddin's wife had been taken by the police to Valsad, Gujarat. He had thereafter been allowed to go.

He had told Tripathi further that they had showed Sohrabuddin as killed in an encounter and also killed Sohrabuddin's wife Kauser Bi. Further that since he was a witness to the abduction, police might also kill him. That, thereupon, she had made an oral submission before the magistrate to pass orders for the safety of Tulsiram, but the order was not passed.

Yesterday, in court, however, Tripathi denied any such conversations with Tulsiram or having made any oral submission fro his safety. In her previous statement, she had also said that Tulsiram's brother Pawan Kumar and his mother Narmada Bai used to always come to court when he was produced. Yesterday, she denied having seen anyone coming to meet Tulsiram. Also, her CBI statement said that Tulsiram used to be brought under custody from Central Jail, Udaipur. Yesterday in court, she denied knowledge of this either.

Another witness who was declared hostile was driver Mahipalsinh Chauhan. Tulsiram had been shown as escaped from custody near Himmat Nagar, Gujarat, from a train in which he was travelling with Rajasthan police. The CBI case is that Tulsiram was not present in the train at all. As per Chauhan's earlier statements to the agency, he had driven four policemen from Himmat Nagar, Gujarat to Palanpur in the state on being contacted by one Vasantbhai, who was into the same business.

He had also noted that one of the policemen was constantly on mobile phone when on the way to Palanpur and was talking to someone and had stopped the car three or four times and talked on mobile while going far from the vehicle. The CBI case is that the person he was talking to is SP Dinesh MN, now discharged from the case. Also, the statements further said that at Palanpur, the police boarded two Gujarat police jeeps which were waiting for them.

Yesterday in court however, Chauhan denied it all. He said he used to never rent out his car. He even denied he knew any Vasantbhai.

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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