Andhra denies helping Gujarat Police kidnap Sohrabuddin


Hyderabad : Andhra Pradesh Police Tuesday said it did not provide any help to Gujarat Police in the kidnapping of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi, but promised action if any of its officers was named during investigations.

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"As far as the Andhra Pradesh Police is concerned, no official support was given to them (Gujarat Police). If any policeman rendered any help in his personal capacity or committed any illegal act, it is his responsibility and we will take action after receiving reports from Gujarat," state Director General of Police M.A. Basit told a news conference.

He said there was no official communication from Gujarat Police seeking assistance from its Andhra Pradesh counterpart in arresting Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi.

The couple was allegedly picked up by Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat policemen from a bus carrying them from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra in November 2005.

Sohrabuddin was subsequently allegedly killed by officials of Gujarat Police in a fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad and his wife too was killed later and her body burnt.

"The Gujarat Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is investigating the case and if they point out the involvement of any of our police officials, we will take necessary action," he said.

Basit clarified that Superintendent of Police R. Pandian – one of the three police officials arrested in the case – had visited Hyderabad in November 2005 to study a suicide bomb blast in the police commissioner's task force office the previous month.

"We can't grope in the dark," Basit said when asked about reports of the Hyderabad Police's involvement in the kidnap. "We can't go on assumptions and we have to investigate on the basis of official reports," he said.

Basit said neither the petition filed by Sohrabuddin's brother in the Supreme Court nor the affidavit by Gujarat Police mentioned the involvement of the Andhra Pradesh Police.

"The investigation reports filed by the Gujarat government in the Supreme Court are not available with the registry and we have asked state government's advocate to collect those reports," he said.

"The affidavit merely says further investigations have to be carried out in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Let them carry investigations and if they come out with the names of any police official we will take action," Basit said.

He said the state police cooperate with police of other states in an open manner. "There is a well laid procedure for this and we follow it in cooperating with other states," he added.

Asked why police did not find it proper to conduct an inquiry into the incident, Basit said that the offence did not take place in Andhra Pradesh. Tandola village, where Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi were allegedly picked up, is in Karnataka.

Answering persistent queries, he said a formal internal inquiry was conducted by the department to find out whether any assistance was provided to Gujarat Police and whether any policeman visited Gujarat. "No police personnel came forward to say that he provided assistance."