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Kauser Bi killed, body burnt; Gujarat govt to SC

Last updated on: April 30, 2007 17:39 IST

In a shocking revelation, the Gujarat government on Monday admitted before the Supreme Court that Kauser Bi, wife of fake encounter victim Sohrabuddin Sheikh, has been killed and her body burnt.

"She has been killed," Gujarat government counsel K T S Tulsi and Hemantika Wahi told a bench headed by Justice Tarun Chatterjee during the mentioning hours.

An action taken report on the investigation, submitted in a sealed cover to the court, said the mortal remains of Kauser Bi were burnt. The fact about the killing of the woman was disclosed during the custodial interrogation of the three IPS officers arrested in connection with the fake encounter of Sheikh on November 22-23, 2005.

The probe revealed that Kauser Bi was murdered a few days after her husband was killed after being branded as Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist.

The Gujarat Police was trying to locate the skeletal remains of Kauser Bi. If traced, they will be sent for DNA test, sources said, adding that the ATR report has suggested that some arrests are likely to take place.

Till now 122 witnesses have recorded their statement with the police.

The Gujarat government had on Friday last expressed apprehension that Kauser Bi may have been killed.

The bench, also comprising Justice D K Jain, took on record the action taken report and said it will pass an appropriate order on Tuesday on the habeas corpus petition seeking to trace Kauser Bi, who had gone missing after her husband was killed in the fake encounter.

Rubabuddin Sheikh, brother of Soharbuddin had filed a petition seeking CBI enquiry into the fake encounter and a direction for the Gujarat government to trace Kauser Bi. The Centre through Attorney General Milon K Banerji and Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, assisting the court as amicus curiae, has favoured CBI probe into the incident.

However, Gujarat government has opposed CBI inquiry contending that a special investigating team was holding the probe as a result of which three senior IPS officers -- D G Vanjhara, Rajkumar Pandian (both Gujarat cadre) and M N Dinesh Kumar (Rajasthan cadre) -- were arrested.

Senior Counsel K T S Tulsi, appearing for the state government, had accused the Centre of playing politics in the criminal case. The court during the last hearing had asked the Gujarat government to place before it the inquiry reports prepared by the senior IPS officer Geetha Johri, which allegedly had said Soharabuddin was killed in a fake encounter. However, Johri was later removed from case investigation.