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Sohrabuddin case: One more witness turns hostile

PTI
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CBI records Rabri's statement in connection with money laundering case

A CBI team today recorded the statement of former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi at her residence here in connection with an alleged money laundering case involving a cooperative bank in which a huge amount of old high-value currency notes were deposited after demonetisation.

One more prosecution witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter cases turned hostile before a special CBI court here today, taking the total number of such witnesses to 59.

The court has so far examined over 85 prosecution witnesses, of whom 59 have turned hostile.

Two witnesses -- Sushil Tiwari, an advocate, and his clerk Devendra Sharma -- deposed before special judge S J Sharma.

Of them, Tiwari retracted his past statement, while Sharma stood by his earlier statement given to the investigating agency.

As per Tiwari's earlier statement, he had met Prajapati in May 2006 at the district court in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh on the request of Sharma, who was known to Prajapati.

Prajapati was brought from the Udaipur central jail to Ujjain for his appearance in the district court.

As per the statement, Prajapati had told Tiwari that there was a conspiracy to kill him inside the jail and he had been assaulted, along with his fellow inmates, inside the prison. Prajapati told this to Tiwari and sought his help.

Thereafter, Tiwari typed an application addressed to the Udaipur Collector, praying for Prajapati's safety. The letter was handed over to Sharma for dispatch by post.

However, Tiwari today said he had neither written nor seen any such letter. It was brought to him in an envelope, on which he just wrote the address and got it posted by a junior and not by Sharma. Following his statement, he was declared hostile.

Sharma, meanwhile, stood by his earlier statement, wherein he had told the CBI that he had posted the letter typed by Tiwari.

Sohrabuddin, a suspected gangster with terror links, and his wife were killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat Police in November 2005, while Prajapati, his aide, was killed in another alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in December 2006.

Of the 38 people charged by the CBI, 15, including senior IPS officers D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, Dinesh MN, and BJP chief Amit Shah (then the Minister of State for Home in Gujarat) were discharged by the court.