Mumbai: In a shocking development, the brothers of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, who was killed in an alleged staged encounter in November 2005, have suddenly gone ‘missing’ and are untraceable, a special court was told on Friday. Incidentally, the news of their going ‘missing’ has come just as their deposition was to start before the special court. The testimony of the two brothers – Nayabuddin and Rubabuddin — is crucial for the CBI, the prosecuting agency. In fact, Nayabuddin was supposed to appear before special Judge Sunil Sharma on Friday morning. Surprisingly, he did not turn up and now the court has issued an NBW against him.
The matter came to light when Nayabuddin’s name was called out to step into the witness box and depose before the court. However, the Investigating Officer, Vishwas Meena, submitted a report claiming that Nayabuddin is ‘untraceable’ and thus could not be brought for deposition. He further informed the court that Nayabuddin has been untraceable since 2017.
Most surprising is the non-availability of Rubabuddin, who has dragged senior IPS officials to the High Court, challenging their discharge from the case. His deposition is slated for August 6. “I myself have not been in touch with Rubabuddin for a long time,” his lawyer Gautam Tiwary told the Free Press Journal. The third brother – Shahnawazuddin — is likely to depose before the court on Saturday.
According to the report submitted by Meena, he had personally been to Jhirniya, Bhopal the residence of Nayabuddin and also Ruba-buddin. “I had called both the brothers of Sohrabuddin from the landline number of a nearby police station. Though they initially answered the calls, however, they did not reveal their whereabouts. Since then, they have not been taking calls despite the fact that I have specifically told one of them that a bailable warrant was issued in his name.” Having considered the report, special Judge Sharma issued a non-bailable warrant against Nayabuddin and granted him time till August 10 to appear before the court. The judge has also asked the CBI to place on record the ‘steps’ it has undertaken till date to trace him. Meanwhile, another prime witness Azam Khan, a close friend of Sohrabuddin, too did not turn up for his deposition on Friday. He is the same witness, who had sought police protection and claimed to have received threats from politicians.