A key witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case has claimed in a Mumbai court that ex-police officer of Gujarat, DG Vanzara, had given out a contract to kill Haren Pandya — former home minister of the state. Sohrabuddin, the witness said, claimed he got the contract, and his aide Tulsiram Prajapati claimed he had carried out the murder. The witness, Azam Khan, said he had mentioned it to an officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation, but the officer had refused to include it in his testimony.
Haren Pandya was murdered in Ahmedabad in 2003. The Central Bureau of Investigation, which probed the case, claimed he was killed as revenge for the 2002 riots.
Sohrabuddin died in an alleged fake encounter in November 2005. DG Vanzara, who had been named in the case, was discharged last year.
The witness said he met Sohrabuddin Shaikh in 2002 and became good friends with him and his wife Kausar Bi.
"Sohrabuddin told me he had got money from DG Vanzara to kill Gujarat's home minister Haren Pandya and he completed the job. I then told him that what he did was wrong and he had killed a good person," news agency Press Trust of India quoted the witness as saying.
Later, he met Tulsiram Prajapati, an aide of Sohrabuddin, in Udaipur jail. "Prajapati told me that the Gujarat police killed Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi," the witness said, deposing before special CBI Judge S J Sharma.