Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tulsiram was in jail during Haren murder

Ujjain Jail Records Dispute Claim That Dead Gangster Is Killer

Saeed Khan | TNN

Exactly who killed former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya? Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt claims he has a letter from Asgar Ali, now acquitted of the assassination charge by the Gujarat high court, which states the killing was executed by Sohrabuddin Sheikh’s fellow gangster Tulsiram Prajapati.

However, Ujjain central jail records in Madhya Pradesh, obtained by an Indorebased lawyer Rohit Tomar under Right to Information Act, show that Tulsiram was behind bars when Pandya was killed on March 26, 2003. That rules him out as the man behind the gun.

Bhatt has claimed that as superintendent of the Sabarmati central jail, he had faxed amessage to the then minister of state for home Amit Shah on November 5, 2003 about Asgar’s claims. The jail authorities have, however, denied having a record of any such fax.

According to jail records, Tulsiram was in jail from the beginning of 2003 and was taken for a court hearing on March 27, 2003, one day after Pandya’s killing in Ahmedabad. The records show Tulsiram was imprisoned on December 7, 2002 as undertrial prisoner number 2664. He was in judicial custody after being accused in five different cases lodged in various places committed in 2000-2001. These included murder charges. He was acquitted in four cases, while in the fifth case, he was granted bail and finally released on October 18, 2003. Besides murder, Tulsiram had been accused of loot, dacoity and trespassing.

Tulsiram was killed in a fake encounter on December 28, 2006, a few days after the investigating officer in the Sohrabuddin probe sought permission to go to Rajasthan to interrogate him.

Several policemen from Gujarat and Rajasthan are behind bars in the Sohrabuddin case and the Tulsiram probe too has now been handed over to the CBI.

The case took a twist recently when CBI sought the help of Andhra Pradesh police to arrest former naxaliteturned-informer Nayeemuddin alias Kalimuddin in connection with the Tulsiram probe.

While the CBI believes that it was Tulsiram who was travelling with Sohrabudin and his wife Kauserbi when they were picked up by the Gujarat police on the AP-Maharashtra border, it is seeking the custody of Nayeemuddin, an absconder in the Pandya murder case, to perhaps throw more light on the killing of the former Gujarat minister.


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