Johri questions cops in connection with Gujarat killings


Hyderabad : For the second consecutive day, top Gujarat police official Geeta Johri Friday questioned police officials here in connection with the 2005 staged killings of Muslim youth Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi.

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Johri, an inspector general of police of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Friday questioned Additional Commissioner of Police Rajiv Trivedi to find out the role played by Hyderabad police in kidnapping the couple from a bus on Hyderabad-Mumbai highway on Nov 22, 2005.

On Thursday evening, Johri met Director General of Police M.A. Basit to seek his permission to question a few police officials of Andhra Pradesh. Basit had earlier denied that the state police rendered any assistance to the Gujarat team.

The woman official Thursday interrogated E. Radakrishnaiah, an IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) group headquarters here for three hours.

Radakrishnaiah had hosted the ATS team headed by IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, who is currently under judicial custody along with two other IPS officials – D.G. Vanjhara and M.N. Dinesh, in connection with the fake encounter.

Radhakrishnaiah reportedly revealed that Vanjhara had also visited the city along with Pandian. The CRPF official had hosted a dinner for the duo at his quarters and it was here that the planning of the fake encounter was chalked out.

Sources said he also admitted to sending his personal security guards to pick up Sohrabuddin and his wife.

The couple was on their way from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra when the bus was intercepted at Tadola, a village in Karnataka's Bidar district. The two were later taken to Ahmedabad.

While Sohrabuddin was allegedly killed in a fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad Nov 25, his wife was killed days later.

Three arrested policemen of ATS – inspector N.H. Dabhi and constables Ajay Parmar and Santram Sharma – have also been brought to Hyderabad to be questioned on their activities. The three were part of the ATS team.

Sources said an identification parade could be conducted and the three arrested policemen could be asked to identify Andhra Pradesh policemen who assisted them in kidnapping the couple.

The Andhra Pradesh policemen had reportedly provided logistical support and even changed the number plates of two vehicles brought from Gujarat to intercept the bus.