Mumbai, Apr 4 (PTI) Yet another prosecution witness in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case turned hostile today, taking the number of such witnesses to 48.

Majid Mohammed, a hotel owner from Udaipur in Rajasthan, turned hostile during his deposition by the CBI special judge S J Sharma today.

In his statement to the CBI, Majid had said that Inspector Adbul Rehman of Udaipur police, one of the accused in the encounter case, had told him that Shaikh was involved in the murder of his (Majid’s) brother.

His brother, Hamid Lala, who had several criminal cases registered against him, had been murdered by some criminals and inspector Rehman probed the murder, Majid had told the CBI.

“Through him I had come to know that they were after Sohrabuddin, who was involved in the case, and it was Sohrabuddin who had brought sharp shooter Tuilsiram from Madhya Pradesh for killing my brother.

“About two-three days prior to the encounter of Sohrabuddin, (reports of) which appeared in the newspaper, Rehman came to our hotel at around 11-11.15 AM and told me that Sohrabuddin has been nabbed by the Gujarat police from a place near Hyderabad and he along with SP sahab were going to Ahmedabad,” Majid’s statement to the CBI said.

However, in his deposition to the court today, Majid said he did not know Abdul Rehman, adding he didn’t know either what statement the CBI had recorded as it was not read out to him.

At this, the CBI counsel was forced to declared him hostile.

Sixty six witnesses have been examined so far, of whom 48 have been declared hostile.

The Mumbai court last October framed charges against 22 persons including police officers for murder, abduction and destruction of evidence in the alleged fake encounter case of Shaikh near Gandhinagar on November 26, 2005.

Shaikh, an alleged gangster with terror links, and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad from Hyderabad on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra in November 2005.

According to the prosecution, Shaikh was killed in a fake encounter. Kausar Bi, who disappeared, too was allegedly killed later.

Tulsi Prajapati, an aide of Shaikh who was said to be a witness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by police at Chapri village in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district in December 2006.

The case was transferred to Mumbai in September 2012 on the request of the CBI to ensure a fair trial.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.