Mumbai: Three more prosecution witnesses in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter cases on Tuesday turned hostile in a special CBI court in Mumbai, taking the total number of such witnesses to 65.
The three witnesses, comprising a woman, her neighbour, and a Rajasthan Police personnel deposed before special CBI judge S J Sharma. Among the witnesses, Muni Devi, whose husband had rented their house in Bhilwada to Tulsiram Prajapati, had earlier told the CBI that Sameer (an alias used by Prajapati as per the CBI) was staying as their tenant for 10-15 days prior to his arrest in November 2005.
Devi was declared hostile by the CBI which told the court that Prajapati was arrested immediately after his arrival from Hyderabad and was not staying as a tenant. Another witness declared hostile by the CBI was Devi’s neighbour Shankar Singh Rathod. Rathod had earlier said that he had seen the police taking Tulsiram Prajapati along with them from Devi’s house on November 26, 2005. However, the CBI claimed Prajapati was arrested on November 29, 2005.
Third witness Chandu Lal, who was then a constable at Police Lines in Udaipur, had told the CBI that he had handed over the daily arms and ammunition entry register for the period between January 29, 2016 and August 25, 2008 to the CBI. He had stated that he had made an entry about arms and ammunition issued to ASI Narayan Singh, who was deputed to escort a prisoner. However, Lal on Tuesday said he was not aware of the contents of the register, following which he was declared hostile.
Sohrabuddin, a suspected gangster, was killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat Police in November 2005. Prajapati was also allegedly killed in a similar manner by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in December 2006. Of the 38 people charged by the CBI, 15 people have been discharged by the court.