Court Order Likely on BJP Leader Amit Shah's Discharge Plea in Fake Encounter Killing

A special CBI court is likely to decide today on BJP leader Amit Shah's plea to be discharged in the fake encounter killing of Tulsiram Prajapati in 2006.

Amit Shah, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was booked for conspiracy and destruction of evidence by the CBI, or Central Bureau of Investigation, in September last year.

Prajapati was a key witness to the encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in 2005. A year later, he was killed in police custody. Amit Shah was home minister of Gujarat at the time.

The CBI's chargesheet accused Mr Shah of sanctioning the fake encounters. He was arrested in 2010 and released on bail three months later. 18 others, including six IPS officers, were also arrested.  

The court's possible verdict comes at a time when Mr Shah, who is credited with the BJP's stunning success in Uttar Pradesh in the recent national election, is anticipating an elevation to the post of party president.

Mr Shah, 50, is currently a BJP general secretary and is widely seen as one of the most powerful politicians in the country since the party's massive victory in the polls.

Sohrabuddin, a petty criminal, his wife Kauser Bi and Tulsiram were traveling on a bus from Andhra Pradesh in 2005 when they were kidnapped by the Gujarat police. Sohrabuddin and his wife were killed a few days later. Tulsiram, the sole witness to their abduction, was shot dead a year later; the police claimed that he was trying to escape from their custody.

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