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No one killed Sohrabuddin, Justice Loya, they just died: Rahul takes a dig at court’s ruling

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New Delhi, Dec 22: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took a swipe at the special CBI court's decision to acquit all 22 accused in the alleged fake encounter killings of gangster Sohrabuddin Shaikh in 2005.

Rahul gANDHI

"NO ONE KILLED...Haren Pandya. Tulsiram Prajapati. Justice Loya. Prakash Thombre. Shrikant Khandalkar. Kauser Bi. Sohrabuddin Shiekh. THEY JUST DIED," Gandhi wrote on Twitter.

On Friday, the special CBI court cleared the names of the accused saying the evidence brought before the court could not establish the role of any of the 22 in the case.

The 13-year-old case saw several twists and turns, including 92 prosecution witnesses turning hostile. At one point, BJP president Amit Shah was also arrested briefly in 2010.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter: All including 21 cops acquitted for want of evidence

The three victims who were returning to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad in a bus were taken into custody by a police team on the night of November 22-23, 2005.

The couple were taken in one vehicle and Prajapati in another. The CBI, which was the prosecuting agency, said Shaikh was killed on November 26, 2005, allegedly by a joint team comprising Gujarat and Rajasthan police, and Kausar Bi three days later.

Prajapati, who was lodged in an Udaipur central jail, was killed in an encounter on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border on December 27, 2006.

Of the 22 accused, 21 are junior-level police officials from Gujarat and Rajasthan, who the CBI said were part of the teams that abducted the three and later killed them in staged encounters. The remaining accused was the owner of the farm house in Gujarat where Shaikh and Kausar Bi were illegally detained before they were killed.

Police said Sohrabuddin was linked with terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and was allegedly conspiring to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat.

The case was initially probed by the Gujarat CID before the CBI took over in 2010. The Supreme Court in 2013 directed that the trial be shifted to Mumbai from Gujarat on the central agency's request to ensure a fair trial.

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