The sensational killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in an alleged fake gun
battle and the murder of his wife and a friend are likely to be
probed by the Supreme Court's Special Investigations Team (SIT),
which is inquiring the 2002 Gujarat communal riots.
Supreme Court Monday ordered that the 2005 killings by the Gujarat
police will be investigated by the probe panel headed by former
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director R.K. Raghavan.
was shot dead by the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in
November 2005. Soon after, Sohrabuddin's wife Kausar Bi went
missing. It was alleged that his wife and other witness Tulsiram
Prajapati were also killed by the police to destroy evidence.
bench of Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice Aftab Alam decided in
principle to hand over the Sheikh's killing probe to the Raghavan
panel, which is presently probing the alleged role of Gujarat Chief
Minister Narendra Modi, bureaucrats and politicians in fomenting the
communal trouble in the state.
formal order for transfer of the probe of Sheikh's killing from the
state police will be issued next Tuesday.
bench also asked the Gujarat government to be prepared for an ad-hoc
compensation to Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin Sheikh, who is a
third-stage cancer patient and is terminally ill.
are admitting that it was a fake encounter. You have to pay the
compensation," the bench told the Gujarat government counsel Mukul
Rohatagi while asking the state to be mentally prepared to pay the
damages to the kin of the fake encounter's victims.
would only be a question of quantum," the bench added.
Rohtagi sought a trifle long adjournment to seek instructions on the
issue from his client, the Gujarat government, the bench observed,
"That would be too long, too late. Compensation cannot wait."
year, the bench had first indicated that the killings of Sheikh, his
wife and friend will be probed by the Raghavan panel.
the apex court's earlier order, the case is presently being
investigated by a Gujarat police team.
Police have booked several of its officers, including then deputy
inspector general D.G. Vanzara and an Indian Police Service officer
from Rajasthan and arrested them for their role in the killing.