Ahmedabad: Nine accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, who were lodged in a city jail, were on Thursday sent to Mumbai under heavy security for their production before the special court there on November 23. Later, they all will be sent to a jail in Maharashtra, as per the decision of the special CBI court in Mumbai, before which they will be produced.
The nine accused, including suspended IPS officers DG Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN, were on Thursday morning taken under heavily armed security escort, ending uncertainties surrounding to the issue of their transfer to Mumbai jail, following the Supreme Court order to shift the trial in the case to Maharashtra.
Two other accused in the case, Abhay Chudasama and NK Amin, have sought exemption from their production on health ground and hence they are unlikely to be produced along with their co-accused, sources said. Suspended IPS officer Chudasama has been lodged in Nadiad Jail, while Amin has been in Vadodara Central Jail for almost past two years.
The jail authorities in Mumbai had arranged the escort team of 52 personnel under DCP Mayaksinh Chavda, an ACP, four police inspectors, six police sub-inspectors and 20 'Chetak' Black Cat Commandos and 20 police constables from Special Operation Group(SOG) and Crime Branch.
Vanzara and Pandian were sent in separate vehicles. "Vanzara had been given Z+ category security and hence he has been sent into a separate vehicle looking at his security aspect," jail superintendent RJ Parghi said.
On September 27, the Supreme Court had ordered the transfer of the case to Maharashtra after CBI submitted that witnesses were being intimidated and a free and fair trial was not possible in Gujarat.
Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat's Anti-Terrorism Squad from Andhra Pradesh. Sheikh was killed in a alleged fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on November 26, 2005 and his wife was also later murdered.
On November 9, following the failure of the authorities here at the Sabarmati Central Jail to send the accused for their production before the special CBI court in Mumbai, the special court had directed them to be brought on November 23, 2012.
On that day, 8 of the accused in the case who are out on bail, including former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah, appeared before the special court. Since 7.30 AM, personnel from crime branch, SOG, Chetak commando had started arriving at the Sabarmati Central Jail compound.
Following the arrival of Jail Superintendent Parghi few relatives of the accused also came at the jail. Family of suspended IPS officer DG Vanzara was the first among them including his brother KG Vanzara and his son. The wife and daughter of another accused ML Parmar were also present there.