Two days after BJP leader from Dadri Vijay Pandit was gunned down in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh Police is yet to make any arrest. Pandit’s wife and Dadri Municipal Corporation Chairperson Geeta Pandit, along with other BJP leaders, have raised the pitch for a CBI probe into Pandit’s murder.
According to Geeta, her husband was receiving death threats from a man who is currently lodged in Muzaffarnagar jail. The man warned him to stay away from campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections, she told Newsline on Monday.
She also claimed that though her husband had filed a police complaint regarding the threats, no investigation was undertaken in the matter.
“The phone call came in March. His mother, Savitri Devi, was next to him when the call came. The caller identified himself as the person who is currently lodged in Muzaffarnagar jail. Vijay told me the caller had warned him that if he did not stay away from campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections or leave Dadri, the caller would have him killed,” she said. Geeta said Pandit received verbal threats a few more times after that call.
“Though he filed a police complaint, not once did the police speak to us. I don’t think any proper investigation was done in the matter. On the day Vijay was shot dead, police came to our colony and started firing shots in the air, breaking into people’s homes and beating people up,” she alleged.
Anuj Chaudhary, the circle officer in Dadri at the time of the shooting, has since been transferred to the District SP’s office in police lines.
“He never approached me with the complaint or any demand for police protection. My subordinates too never apprised me of any such complaint. I have given gunners to anybody who has received threats. Why would I have refused him?” Chaudhary said in his defence.
A senior police officer, however, contradicted Chaudhary. He said the complaint was formally registered at the police station and Pandit was offered protection, which he refused.
“He approached police early in April and the case was registered under section of criminal intimidation by an anonymous person. He wanted us to investigate the matter but refused any protection, saying that he had his own men to protect him,” a police officer said.
The officer said the investigation into the caller’s identity had reached a dead-end since no other calls came from that number and the SIM was bought using a fake ID.
“We have not been able to trace the caller. The number does not belong to the individual that Geeta Pandit claims had called and threatened her husband. It is possible that somebody else used that name. We believe both the phone and the SIM were destroyed after the call,” the officer said.
Gautam Buddh Nagar MP Mahesh Sharma, along with former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, were in Dadri on Monday to hold a meeting with members of Dadri Traders’ Association and villagers in an attempt to restore normalcy to the region.