Court rejects CBI clean chit to Raja Bhaiya

Lucknow :  Uttar Pradesh minister for food and civil supplies Raghuraj Pratap Singh, better known as Raja Bhaiya, faces fresh probe for his role in the murder of Zia-ul-Haq, a deputy superintendent of police who was killed during a mob attack in Kunda in Pratapgarh district in March last year.

A special CBI court on Tuesday rejected the closure report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation giving a clean chit to Raja Bhaiyya in the case. The order was passed by the special judicial magistrate (CBI) Shraddha Kumari on an application filed by Zia-ul-Haq’s wife Parveen Azad, who had challenged the closure report. Dismissing the CBI’s final report, the court questioned the clean chit given to the minister and his accomplices — Hari Om Srivastava, Gulshan Yadav, Guddu Singh and Rohit. It also ordered a re-investigation in the case.

The CBI had submitted the closure report on July 31 last year and had mentioned that there was no evidence to indicate the involvement of either Raja Bhaiyya or the other four accused in the case. The agency had also mentioned that the polygraph test of the former minister had resulted negative.

Haq was killed by a mob on March 2 in Balipur village in Pratapgarh where he had rushed to after a village head was shot dead over a land dispute. Haq’s wife had alleged that the four accused had attacked her husband with rods and sticks and later shot him dead on the directions of Raja Bhaiya.

The minister, who is an independent MLA from Kunda, had resigned from the Akhilesh Yadav government in the wake of the incident and had been re-inducted into the ministry in October last year after he had been given the clean chit.

Raja Bhaiya, who had been interrogated extensively by CBI sleuths in the case, has maintained that he was being “framed” in the conspiracy. The CBI report mentioned that it was the family members and supporters of Nanhe Yadav led by his brother Suresh Yadav, who has since died, who had assaulted the police officer. Interestingly, a police inspector, two sub-inspectors and a constable had allegedly abandoned the police officer when he was attacked by the villagers.

The lynching of the police officer had created a furore following which Akhilesh Yadav himself had visited the slain cop’ village and promised to order a CBI inquiry into the entire incident.

Raja Bhaiya faces eight criminal cases, including those of attempt to murder, robbery and dacoity. He had been jailed for nearly a year in 2007, when the Mayawati-led BSP was in power in the state.

There was speculation on whether Raja Bhaiya will resign from the ministry once again since the CBI will soon launch a reinvestigation into the case. According to an agency report, Parveen Azad said she wanted re-investigation and will continue her fight for justice up to the Supreme Court.

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