The CBI today arrested Dr A K Shukla,a former Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Lucknow,and accused him of masterminding the murder of former CMO of Family Welfare Dr V K Arya in October 2010.
A special CBI court remanded Dr Shukla in 14 days judicial custody. A CBI plea seeking 10 days police remand will be heard on Wednesday.
Dr Arya was shot by two motorcycle-borne men while on a morning walk near his Vikas Nagar home on October 27,2010. According to the CBI,the killers,A P Tiwari and Vinod Sharma,were hired by Dr Shuklas deputy,Deputy CMO Dr Y S Sachan,through a friend,R K Verma.
Shukla had good connections in the previous BSP government. He is also accused in two cases of financial irregularities in the National Rural Health Mission in Lucknow. The Lucknow Police arrested him last year under pressure from a court,but Shukla subsequently got bail.
A CBI officer said Shukla came under the scanner after a polygraph test given to retired Additional Chief Medical Officer (ACMO) A K Singh last month. Singh was Shuklas subordinate during his tenure as Lucknow CMO.
Sources said Shukla,who had been looking after the implementation of NRHM since 2007,was upset after the family welfare department was separated,and Dr Arya was posted as CMO of family welfare with responsibility of NRHM. Dr Arya detected serious irregularities in certain NRHM contracts awarded during Shuklas tenure.
Sources said Shukla met Arya several times and told him not to rake up those issues,but Arya did not relent. Arya apparently also cautioned the then Deputy CMO Dr Y S Sachan over his connivance with Shukla in the irregularities. Sources said Shukla then planned Aryas murder.
Sources in the CBI said investigations so far did not support the Lucknow Police theory that Sachan was the key conspirator behind the murders of both Arya and his successor CMO of Family Welfare Dr B P Singh,who too was shot dead by men on a motorcycle while on a morning walk near his Gomti Nagar residence on April 2 last year.
The motives behind the two murders were different. While Arya was killed because of a rivalry with Shukla,Sachan got Singh murdered for his own reasons. CBI also believes that contrary to the Lucknow Police claim,the shooters in both killings were different.
The Lucknow Police had claimed that Sachan planned both kilings. He was found dead in Lucknow jail in suspicious circumstances on June 22 last year. The CBI is investigating all three deaths on the order of the Allahabad High Court.
POISON IN SOCK?
The Lucknow District Prison staff recovered a packet of white powder suspected to be sulphas from one of Dr A K Shuklas socks during routine frisking at the jail. He was brought to the jail on Monday evening after the court sent him to judicial custody. Lucknow Jail DIG Sharad Kulshrestha said Shukla has claimed the white powder was Sulphas,and he had been carrying it since the CBI took him into custody.
HC seeks case diaries
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court asked the CBI to present the case diaries of the murder cases of two CMOs as well as the Lucknow NRHM on May 28. A division bench passed the direction after the CBI sought three months for the NRHM scam and two months each for CMOs V K Arya and B P Singhs murder cases to conclude the investigation.