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Shah remanded to judicial custody

By The Assam Tribune

GANDHINAGAR, July 25 � After eluding the CBI for four days, former Gujarat minister and Narendra Modi�s close aide Amit Shah was today arrested by the probe agency in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and sent to jail shortly after he made a dramatic appearance at a BJP briefing.

46-year-old Shah, 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 Gandhinagar office of the CBI and surrendered before the agency which arrested him and produced him before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate A Y Dave.

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 and taken to Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad.

�I have full faith in the judiciary and I am sure the allegations against me will be cleared by the courts,� Shah said after he appeared during a press conference called by state BJP president R C 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 Congress government� and demanded that his entire questioning by the CBI should be video-graphed.

Shah, who is elected from Sarkhej constituency and had been minister of state for home in the Modi government since 2002, also said that the Chief Minister should not be dragged into the issue.

�There is no need to drag Chief Minister Narendra Modi into this issue,� he said reply to a reporter�s query.

Later he 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.

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 CBI is full of a bunch 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.

�Charge sheet is not made overnight. Charge sheet 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 in the probe.

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.

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