Fake encounter: Geeta Johri begins probe in Hyderabad


Hyderabad : Gujarat Police official Geeta Johri, who is heading investigations into the 'fake encounter' killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi in 2005, Thursday began a probe into the role of Andhra Pradesh Police in the case.

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The inspector-general of police-CID, who arrived here Wednesday night along with a CID official, may question a few Hyderabad police officials and an IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre who is currently on deputation with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Hyderabad.

Johri will try to identify the Andhra Pradesh policemen who allegedly helped the Gujarat Police team in tracking down Sheikh and his wife and picking up the couple from a bus headed for Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad.

"I have no specific names. I came to verify things here," Johri told reporters when asked to name the Andhra Pradesh Police officials who helped the Gujarat team.

The couple was picked up from the bus Nov 22, 2005 and taken to Ahmedabad. While police killed Sheikh in a fake encounter – an euphemism for staged shootouts – on the outskirts of Ahmedabad by branding him a terrorist Nov 25, his wife was allegedly killed and her body burnt a few days later.

Police sources said the arrested policemen of Gujarat's Anti-terrorist Squad (ATS) – Inspector N.H. Dabhi and constables Ajay Parmar and Santram Sharma – would also be brought to Hyderabad.

The three were part of the ATS team that went to Hyderabad – led by IPS official S.P. Rajkumar Pandian – to track down and bring Sohrabuddin to Gujarat. The investigating team may ask them to identify the policemen who assisted the Gujarat team.

Pandian, Deputy Inspector General (border range) D.G. Vanzara and Rajasthan Superintendent of Police Dineshkumar M.N. have already been arrested.

Johri is also likely to hold talks with Director General of Police M.A. Basit, who told reporters Tuesday that no assistance was rendered at the official level to Gujarat police.

She may question seven policemen who allegedly helped the Gujarat team by providing information about the ill-fated couple's travel plans.

Johri, who exposed the 'fake encounter' and the involvement of senior officials, may also visit Tandola, a village in neighbouring Karnataka where the bus was stopped by the policemen.

She was also believed to have visited Hyderabad last year to question the driver of the bus, which was intercepted by police.