“No, I don’t know…I don’t remember.” This is what former minister of state for home Amit Shah kept telling the three-member CBI team that interrogated him for four hours inside the Sabarmati jail here on Wednesday. The team had prepared 32 questions relating to Shah’s alleged role in the conspiracy to eliminate Sohrabuddin Sheikh, but the former minister had almost similar answers to most of the questions posed by the team.
Sort of frustrated at Shah’s “non-cooperation movement”, the team had to abandon the interrogation midway and leave the jail. The team of three interrogators was headed by CBI superintendent of police Amitabh Thakur. Others in the team included two advocates and two videographers. Sources said a separate team would interrogate Shah on Thursday. The court has granted CBI permission to grill Shah from July 28 to July 30 between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm. On a request from Shah, the court has allowed video recording of the interrogation by CBI.
On Wednesday, CBI officials reached Sabarmati jail at 10:40 am and went straight to Tilak room, where Shah has been lodged. The interrogation continued till 2:45 pm and during these four hours, Shah literally did not answer any question properly.
When the CBI officers asked Shah about a meeting held in Circuit House with officials of CID (Crime) that was investigating Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, the former minister said that he did not remember what had been discussed at the meeting. He was questioned about his knowledge of Sohrabuddin’s fake encounter and Kausarbi’s killing. But the CBI did not get any answer to this question.
his alleged connection with the larger conspiracy of Sohrabuddin’s fake encounter and Kausarbi’s murder. The 32 questions that the CBI had prepared were based on allegations such as Shah’s Rajasthan connection and his intervention in the investigations.
In its chargesheet filed in the court on July 23, Shah has been charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, extortion and destruction of evidence. The chargesheet says Shah had entrusted the job of eliminating Sohrabuddin to three IPS officers.
“Sohrabuddin, who was being used for extortion by the accused, was eliminated to create a sense of fear in the minds of businessmen,” says the chargesheet.
Over the next two days, the former minister would be questioned by the CBI with an aim to plug many a loopholes in the investigation process. Shah might have skirted its questions on Wednesday, but the CBI is determined to bring the probe to a point where Shah’s role in Sohrabuddin conspiracy is established.