In the annals of fake encounters, VL Solanki’s name will dazzle as the super cop who shot down two fakes and nailed various specialists who stage-managed the gruesome killings.
For, finally even in the Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case, Solanki emerged as the hero, whose investigation had helped successive investigators fix Sohrabuddin encounter case as ‘fake’.
Solanki’s official documents, communication with senior officers and adamant behavior not to bow to political diktats during the course of Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, had helped Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) get to the bottom of the Tulsi encounter case.
In its charge sheet submitted at the Danta Court in Banaskantha, the central probe agency had mentioned that the first report of the Sohrabuddin fake encounter investigation submitted on November 1, 2006 mentions that there was a third person present with Sohrabuddin and Kausarbi, when the duo was kidnapped from Tandola village near Sangli in Maharashtra.
During the course of investigation, CBI had found that Solanki had recorded the statement of the family members of one Sharad Apte, a co-passenger, who travelled on the same bus in the intervening night of November 22-23, 2005.
Solanki’s inquiry also led to the identification of one Shok Singh Yadav, owner of the motorcycle, which was shown to have been used by Sohrabuddin during the staged encounter.
He also brought to the fore two other witnesses who confirmed that Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauserbi were brought to Ahmedabad on Nov 24, 2005 and kept in the Disha farm at Sabarmati.
Yadav’s statement proved vital for the CBI to know the minute details of the abduction.These and many other such details were revealed in the second and third report of Solanki’s investigation. The two reports were submitted on December 7, 2006 and December 15 (or 16), 2006.
Apart from that the written application sent by Solanki to Geetha Johri seeking permission to question Prajapati in connection with the Sohrab investigation.Johri had instructed (then) police inspector, NK Barot, attached to her, to interpolate the records by framing a wrong and incorrect entry in the file movement register of her office on the entry of date, December 19, 2006.
She had asked him to mention that the file was called by ADGP on December 20, 2006 and returned on January 3, 2007, whereas nothing of that nature had happened in reality.
In his statement before the joint judicial magistrate, Navi Mumbai under section 164 of CrPC, Barot revealed facts about the interpolation of official records/notesheet of preliminary enquiry file.
He brought to light the intentional framing of an incorrect entry for the purpose of saving the accused from punishment for their crimes. These facts proved vital for the CBI to prove Tulsi Prajapati encounter case as murder committed in cold blood.