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Mumbai court verdict in Sohrabuddin 'encounter' on Dec 21

Mumbai court verdict in Sohrabuddin encounter on Dec 21

Mumbai: A Special CBI court will pronounce on December 21 its judgement in the politically sensitive Sohrabuddin Anwar Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati twin encounters case and the rape-cum-murder of Kausar Bi of Gujarat.

The final arguments in the case, which were taken up on December 3, ended on December 5 before CBI Special Judge S.J. Sharma.

The "fake encounters" of alleged gangsters Sohrabuddin and Prajapati and the disappearance of the former's wife Kausar Bi took place in 2005-06, kicking off a major political storm.

The prosecution's case was that Sohrabuddin was linked with terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Tayiba and was allegedly conspiring to assassinate "an important political leader", presumably then Gujarat Chief Minister (and now Prime Minister) Narendra Modi.

A total of 37 people were named as accused in the case, of which 16 were discharged in 2014, including 15 by the Special CBI Court Mumbai and one by the Bombay High Court.

Among those discharged were then Gujarat Home Minister and now BJP President Amit Shah, then Rajasthan Home Minister G.C. Kataria, 'encounter specialist' and former Deputy Inspector-General from Gujarat D.G. Vanzara, who then headed the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Gujarat, IPS officer N.K. Amin and 12 other police officials.

The trial had been shifted from Gujarat to Mumbai by a Supreme Court order in September 2012. A total of 210 prosecution witnesses were examined, of which 92 turned hostile.

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