FOUR MONTHS after Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into BSP leader Raju Pal’s murder case in 2005, a team of agency officers on Friday met his wife, Pooja Pal — a BSP MLA — in Allahabad.
Raju was shot dead and his supporters injured in Allahabad’s Dhoomanganj area in January, 2005.
Pooja — who had got married to Raju only nine days before he was killed — had blamed gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf for the murder. Raju had defeated Ashraf in an Assembly bypoll, which was necessitated following Atiq’s election as Lok Sabha MP in 2004.
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Pooja, a two-term BSP MLA from Allahabad West, had then got an FIR lodged against 11 people, which included the two brothers duo and their supporters. When the state government transferred the investigation to UP’s Crime Branch-CID, six more were made accused in the supplementary chargesheet that was filed.
Ashraf, who was absconding with a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head, was arrested in 2011. At present, all the 17 accused are out on bail.
Pooja has alleged that the UP Police has not conducted a proper investigation and several witnesses have turned hostile. Accusing the police of manipulating evidence, she had said while it has been stated in its records that Raju’s body was handed over to his cousin after the postmortem examination, no one from her family had recieved the same.
In 2006, Pooja first approached the Allahabad High Court, which rejected her plea for a CBI investigation.
She later moved the Supreme Court. In January this year, the SC ordered a CBI probe and asked the agency to conclude its investigation preferably within six months.