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Shah set to face CBI, under pressure to quit

Agencies
Jul 23, 2010 at 01:33pm IST

Gandhinagar/ New Delhi: Gujarat Minister Amit Shah has sought more time to appear before the CBI after being summoned to appear before the investigating agency on Friday and answer evidence allegedly linking him to the 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake shoot-out.

Shah had to appear before the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) in Gandhinagar by 1300 hrs but sent a team of lawyers instead and asked for a questionnaire from the agency. Shah’s lawyer Mitesh Amin said his client will cooperate with the CBI but needed more time.

“This incident is very old. I am here to request CBI for the questions that will be asked from him. We want to cooperate with the investigations, but they have given us very limited time,” said Amin.

"I am not on the run and I will go to the CBI to answer all its questions," said Shah, Minister of State for Home and a confidante of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday.

Shah appears to have personally directed the Sohrabuddin's encounter, according to confessions made by police officials

Shah has been accused of calling up policemen involved in the killing of Sohrabuddin, who was labeled as a Lashkar-e-Toiba operative. The CBI collected the phone records of the minister to prove his role in the execution of the staged killing, it is alleged.

CNN-IBN learns the CBI agency has obtained call records which reveal that Shah was in constant touch with D G Vanzara, who was chief Gujarat's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and is currently under arrest for the killings, soon after the encounter.

The ATS has been accused of killing Sohrabuddin in a staged shootout on November 26, 2005, in Ahmedabad. His wife Kauserbi has been missing ever since.

On January 12 this year, the Supreme Court ordered the CBI to register a case against the policemen from Gujarat and Rajasthan involved in Sheikh's killing.

An Indian Police Service officer, Abhay Chudasama, was arrested soon after the CBI took over the case. Chudasama, the 15th policeman to be arrested in the case, was posted as deputy commissioner of police in Ahmedabad at the time of his arrest and was earlier a member of the state ATS.

In his petition to the Supreme Court, Sheikh's brother Rubabuddin Sheikh stated that Sohrabuddin and Kauserbi were picked up by an ATS team and the Rajasthan Special Task Force on November 25, 2005, while the couple was going to Nashik from Hyderabad.

On November 28, 2005, the ATS and the STF claimed that Sohrabuddin was killed in a shootout near Ahmedabad.

The police claimed he had come to Ahmedabad with the intention of targeting senior political leaders and to engage in subversive activities.

(With inputs from CNN-IBN and IANS.)

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