In a petition filed before the Bombay High Court, 36-year-old Rizwana Khan, wife of Azam Khan, has alleged that her husband was tortured consistently for 20 days by the Udaipur Police and then brought to Mumbai for his deposition before the Special CBI Court conducting the trial in alleged fake encounter cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and his associate Tulsiram Prajapati.
Rizwana has stated in her petition that her husband was unable to state all the facts before Special CBI Judge in his deposition as he was tortured by Udaipur police and even threatened by Abdul Rehman, an accused in the case and a former inspector of Rajasthan police.
According to the petitioner, Azam Khan was taken in custody from Udaipur to Mumbai for his deposition where he was kept at a hotel in Syed Kazi Street. Then accused Abdul Rehman came in a black SUV accompanied with Udaipur police officials and made Azam Khan sit with him in the car for some 30 minutes. Khan was told by Rehman to depose as per the instructions given to him and if he did not, he would be implicated in further false cases and would suffer other consequences.
The petition stated: “The current phase of intimidation began on 7 June 2018 when Azam Khan, his two brothers and his uncles were picked up by the Udaipur police. Thereafter, the petitioner’s mother-in-law (Azam Khan’s mother) was threatened by Udaipur police that Azam Khan and others would not be let off unless Khan testified in Court as per their wishes. Within 4 days of receiving the threat, Khan’s mother filed an application against these errant police officers under Section 342 of IPC. Thereafter, Azam Khan’s brothers and uncles were let off by the police. Upon their return, they revealed that police had tortured them for seven days and forced them to sign concocted statements prepared by the police stating that they had gone to Ajmer Sharif dargah without informing their family members.”
Did police torture Azam Khan’s wife
Rizwana also stated in the petition that she was stopped by three unknown persons on October 1, 2018, and taken to a white luxury car parked on the side of the road where a person wearing white clothes was sitting in the back. He told her that if Azam Khan does not depose as per their wishes, she would meet the same fate as Kausar Bi and her husband would meet a worse fate than Sohrabuddin and Prajapati.
Fearing for her life, Rizwana did not say anything initially but then wrote a letter five days later on October 6 to the Chief Justice of India, Chief Justices of High Courts in Rajasthan and Bombay, NHRC and NCW. Within a week of this letter, Azam Khan was arrested in Delhi by a Special team of Udaipur police on October 12, 2018. This police team was accompanied by Harinder Singh Soda, in-charge of Bhupalpura Station, Udaipur.
When Rizwana reached Bhupalpura police station and asked for her husband wanting to meet him and speak to him, Soda grabbed her by the hair, beat her up and threw her in the locker next to her husband’s. Her phone was taken away and she was detained for 4-5 hours. She was booked under S.107 read with 151 of CrPC for breach of peace. Rizwana also alleged that Soda asked some 50 police personnel to kick and beat her husband incessantly on October 13, 2018. She further stated that when she met her husband in the magistrate’s court on October 18, he showed her injuries on his body as a result of the said torture.
The petitioner sought a writ of mandamus to be issued for appointment of another Special Public Prosecutor to review the evidence already presented by the prosecution or a writ of mandamus to be issued to the Director of Prosecution to submit a report regarding the conduct of the prosecution in the said case. Rizwana also sought all material witnesses in the case to be recalled and witnesses like her husband to be given protection by the CBI.
Read the Petition Here