The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told a court Thursday that Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhay Chudasama, arrested by the agency for the 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake shootout, knew Sheikh since 2001 and was using him to run an extortion racket.
Chudasama, who was arrested Wednesday, was remanded in seven days’ custody by the CBI court of Judge V.B. Barot in Ahmedabad.
The CBI termed Chudasama as the prime conspirator of the crime and sought a 14-day remand for the top cop to ascertain the whole conspiracy, specially those involved in it from the Gujarat as well as Andhra Pradesh police.
Meanwhile, Chudasama sought the services of a doctor, saying that he was not feeling well.
The lawyer for CBI said the officer’s custody was needed to find out about the larger conspiracy, besides aspects like the vehicle used to abduct Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauserbi.
The CBI argued that Chudasama was using Sheikh to run an extortion racket. It also cited the example where a sum of Rs.40 lakh was sought to be extorted through him from two businessmen of Ahmedabad. The CBI took the line that the abduction of Sohrabuddin and his wife was engineered on the basis of the information Sohrabudding gave to Chudasama.
Since Sohrabuddin had close relations with Chudasama, he had no hesitation in revealing his true whereabouts to the officer. The weapon planted on the deceased was also made available by Chudasama, the agency argued.
According to the CBI, Chudasama also offered Rs.50 lakh to Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin who had sought the intervention of the Supreme Court to unravel the truth in the fake shootout killing. This was to make him withdraw the cases.
The CBI told the court that Chudasama, the deputy commissioner of the Ahmedabad crime branch, was also threatening other witnesses that he would falsify their testimonies.
Arguing against the remand, Chudasama’s lawyer H.M. Dhruv took the plea that the arrest was illegal and there was no prima facie evidence. His plea was that the Supreme Court had only asked the CBI to submit a report and based on it the apex court would give further directions, but the investigating agency had exceeded its brief in arresting the officer.
The CBI special court, which heard the arguments from both sides, announced a seven-day remand after taking an over hour-long break.