The Weekend Leader - Twist in case

BJP MP under police scanner in Shehla Masood murder case even as demand for CBI probe grows louder

New Delhi / Bhopal


Vol 2 | Issue 35

Calling the murder of RTI activist Shehla Masood as a "serious" matter, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday said Madhya Pradesh can request for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the killing.

"If there is a letter from state government regarding this, we will address it with the urgency required," he said.

Masood, an anti-corruption crusader and Right to Information (RTI) activist, was shot outside her home in the Koh-e-Fiza area in Bhopal on the morning of Aug 16.

Masood headed the Madhya Pradesh chapter of India Against Corruption group. In April, she led protests when activist Anna Hazare fasted in New Delhi for the first time.

The day before her murder, Masood had pledged to expose widespread corruption and said she had several documents to back her claims.

According to Madhya Pradesh Police, phone records of Masood show she spoke to Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay Aug 15 and 16, the night before and the day she was shot dead outside her residence in Bhopal.

Inspector General of Police Vijay Yadav told reporters that a police team would go to New Delhi to question Tarun Vijay.

In a brief address to the press, Tarun Vijay clarified he knew Masood as she worked as an event manager for them in Kashmir, Kolkata and Delhi.

"Shehla Masood as an event manager had worked with us in several projects. We knew her, she was a brave RTI activist, a very good friend, she was a campaigner and convenor for India Against Corruption. We were regularly exchanging notes," he said, refusing to take any questions on grounds that the matter was under investigation.

"Even on 16th morning when Anna was arrested, we had spoken in the morning at 9.30 a.m. about Anna Hazare, about the movement, about the demonstration," he said.

Demanding a CBI probe, Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh said the circumstances in which Masood was murdered were suspicious.

Tarun Vijay should himself demand an enquiry in the issue, he said.

"Now that Tarun Vijay's name has come up in this case, I think Tarun Vijay and the chief minister (BJP's Shivraj Singh Chouhan) both should hand over the case to CBI," Digvijay Singh told reporters.

"A thorough investigation should be done into the case. We have demanded a CBI inquiry into it," he said.

"In BJP ruled states, RTI activists are being attacked. This is really sad. CBI should probe the case. Everything needs to be clarified," added his colleague and Congress general secretary B.K. Hariprasad. - IANS

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