Who killed Haren Pandya? This is the question that has been uppermost in people's minds ever since the Gujarat high court acquitted all the 12 people who were earlier convicted of the murder by the trial court.
Sources in the state police said on the condition of anonymity that Tulsiram Prajapati, a close aide of the gangster, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, was allegedly used to kill Pandya.
The sources further claimed that the entire conspiracy to kill Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram in fake encounters was hatched after the murder of Pandya.
Sohrabuddin was allegedly assigned the task of killing Pandya by some influential people. "Sohrabuddin first contacted Asgar Ali for the job but Ali refused," a source claimed.
The source, who was in contact with Ali after he was arrested for the murder of Pandya, claimed that when he (Ali) refused to kill the BJP leader, Sohrabuddin allegedly handed over the task to Tulsi Prajapati. The source further claimed that Tulsi had allegedly carried out the murder and was even rewarded for this by Sohrabuddin.
However, the alleged conspirators at whose behest Pandya was killed began to lose confidence in Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram and, eventually, their equations began to worsen, the source said.
The change of power at the Centre after the 2004 Lok Sabha elections gave the alleged conspirators another reason to eliminate Sohrabuddin and Tulsi in fake encounters.
"The conspirators feared that if the Pandya murder case was reopened, it could lead the investigators to Sohrabuddin," the source claimed.