Tulsiram Prajapati (File)
BEFORE THE alleged “fake” encounter of Tulsiram Prajapati, policemen had threatened to kill him, a witness told the court Monday. The witness, a childhood friend of Tulsiram’s nephew, Kundan Prajapati, said that the police arrested the two in a false case to prevent them from travelling with Tulsiram for court hearings. The police allegedly threatened to kill them too, said the witness.
On Monday, the 28-year-old witness was brought to court from a jail in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, where he is currently lodged. The witness told the court that in 2006, he along with Kundan went to Udaipur central jail for to meet Tulsiram. He said that subsequently the two went to Udaipur railway station as per instructions of Tulsiram to accompany him for a court hearing in Ahmedabad. The witness told the court that they were to travel on the same train as Tulsiram as he had expressed apprehension of being killed in a staged encounter by the police.
“Tulsiram had told us that since he was a witness in the abduction of his associate Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Kausarbi, policemen wanted to kill him in an encounter. Just when Kundan and I were to board the train, some policemen dressed in civil clothes stopped us and took us in a jeep to Surajpol police station. Both of us were beaten up continously and detained for 20-25 days,” the witness said.
While, in his statement to the CBI in 2011, the witness had taken the names of policemen who had allegedly beaten them, including the then SP, Udaipur, Dinesh MN, (discharged as accused from the case in 2017) and the accused currently facing trial, Abdul Rehman, Himanshu Singh Rawat, Narayan Singh, Kartar Singh and Yudhvir Singh, on Monday, he did not take any specific names.
He told the court that the police kept asking them their intention to meet Tulsiram at the railway station. “They were alleging that we wanted to help him escape from custody. Unhone bola, tumko bhi maar denge, usko (Tulsiram) ko toh maarna hi hai (we will also kill you, he has to be killed anyway),” the witness said.
He said the police then arrested them under the NDPS Act . “We were sent to Udaipur central jail where Tulsiram was lodged. He told us that while we were detained, he had informed various authorities including the Ahmedabad court, about the arrest. He would tell us that he will be killed by the police. Before a day of his encounter, he was taken to Ahmedabad for a court hearing. We later came to know about his death,” the witness told the court.