Mumbai | A prosecution witness in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter cases turned hostile today, taking the total number of such witnesses to 72.
The witness, Vasant Barot, a parking contractor at Himmatnagar railway station, deposed before CBI judge S J Sharma.
In his statement to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Barot had said that he had arranged a cab to Palanpur in Gujarat for a police team on December 27, 2006 on the request of a railway police constable.
Palanpur is about 64 kilometres from Chhapri village in Banaskantha district in Gujarat. In Chhapri village, Tulsiram Prajapati, an aide of Shaikh and who was said to be a witness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by the police in December 2006.
However, in court, Barot refuted giving any such statement to the CBI, following which he was declared hostile.
Shaikh, a suspected gangster, and his wife Kauser Bi, were killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat police in November 2005.
Of the 38 people charged by the CBI for the alleged fake encounters, 15 have been discharged by the trial court in Mumbai.