M A I N   N E W S

Shah surrenders before CBI
FAKE ENCOUNTER CASE * Arrested, remanded in 13-day judicial custody * Talks to media before giving up * BJP cries foul, says he’s being framed

Gandhinagar, July 25
After eluding the CBI for four days, former Gujarat minister Amit Shah, a close aide of Narendra Modi, today surrendered before the probe agency which arrested him in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case after he made a dramatic appearance at a BJP media briefing.

Shah (46), who resigned from the Modi government yesterday following a charge sheet being filed against him, turned up at the BJP office in Ahmedabad, where he denied all the charges against him. He then drove to the office of the CBI which arrested him and produced him before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate AY Dave here.

Surprisingly, the CBI did not press for custody of Shah, who has been charged with murder, extortion, kidnapping and five other sections under IPC for the killing of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi in 2005. He was remanded by the magistrate in judicial custody for 13 days till August 7.

“I have full faith in the judiciary and I am sure the allegations against me will be cleared by the court,” Shah said after he appeared during a press conference called by state BJP president RC Faldu at the BJP headquarters in Ahmedabad, ending the suspense of his whereabouts since Thursday when he was first summoned by the CBI.

Shah claimed that he was innocent and said that charges against him were “fabricated, politically motivated and were on the instruction of the Congress government” and demanded that his entire questioning by the CBI should be video-graphed. Later, Shah went to the CBI office in Gandhinagar. Waving to the mediapersons after alighting from his car, he found that officers of the probe agency were waiting for him.

“CBI officials told Shah that they will take him straight to the court to which he agreed,” BJP leader Vijay Rupani, who accompanied Shah, said.

The BJP slammed Shah’s arrest, accusing the Central government of misusing the CBI, an allegation dismissed by the Congress which said that the probe agency would not risk the wrath of the Supreme Court by levelling false charges.

“Do you think the CBI is full of fools who will risk their entire career by making false allegations, non-existing allegations which are going to be examined by the Supreme Court,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

On Shah’s claims that he was being arrested under false allegations by the CBI, he accused the BJP leader of trying to “fool the country” by making such remarks.

“Chargesheet is not made overnight. Chargesheet is a collection of evidence.... Here over five-six months of investigation the CBI has got enough evidence against Amit Shah,” Singhvi said.

The party said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi should also be prepared to face some “uncomfortable” questions during the probe.

Backing Shah, the BJP accused the CBI of working in a partisan manner by targeting Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, where it has governments, and ignoring the Andhra Pradesh angle in the Sohrabuddin case as the Congress is in power in that state.

“Sohrabuddin Sheikh was a terrorist from whose premises in Indore nearly 300 AK-47s were recovered. He used to operate an inter-state gang.

Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are under CBI radar but the Andhra Pradesh angle (in the fake encounter case) is not being investigated at all as the Congress is in power there,” BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The CBI, which took over the investigation of fake encounter case in January this year on the orders of Supreme Court, had sent two summons to Shah on Thursday, but he did not appear before the agency and went underground.

The CBI on Friday filed a chargesheet in the special court charging him with section 302 (murder), 120 B (conspiracy), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement, 364, 365 and 368 (all related to kidnapping), 384 (extortion) and 201 (disappearance of evidence) of the IPC, according to a CBI spokesman said in Delhi.





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