On February 14, 2015, when the Samajwadi Party government was in power in Uttar Pradesh, Nawabganj police station in Bareilly lodged 33 cases against BJP district president Ravindra Singh Rathore. Over the last two months, police have filed closure reports in all 33 cases in a local court, most of these in May, officials say.
The cases relate to forgery and cheating allegedly committed in Nawabganj Municipal Board, where Rathore used to be chairperson. The cases were lodged on complaints by Shahla Tahir, the current, SP-supported chairperson of the municipal board.
“The present BJP government machinery helped Rathore by filing closure reports,” Tahir alleged. “I will challenge it in the court and seek direction for further investigation.”
“Closure reports have been filed in all 33 cases for lack of evidence,” said Special SP, Bareilly, Jogendra Kumar.
Rathore had been named in the 33 FIRs, along with others, for reallotment of 33 shops belonging to the municipal board during his tenure as chairman in 2001. Pramod Kumar Sharma, station house officer of Nawabaganj PS, said that Tahir had alleged in her complaints that documents were forged to reallot the shops.
Sharma said Rathore and others were booked under IPC sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 392 (robbery).
All the cases were investigated by the Bareilly police crime branch. “Investigation of the cases was assigned among officers and they all filed closure reports in the court during the last two months. The court is yet to accept the reports,” said inspector Subhash Chandra Tyagi of the crime branch, who supervised the investigations.
When contacted, Rathore said the police filed closure reports because the allegations were false. Since all cases were filed in one day only, he added, it showed that the FIRs were politically motivated.
Rathore was elected chairperson in 2001. Before that, Tahir was chairperson in 1995-2000; she was elected again in 2012.
“Most of the shops allotted by Shahla Tahir [during her earlier tenure as chairperson] were under construction. After being elected in 2001, I allotted the shops following all norms and due process,” Rathore said.
“A few days after the FIRs were lodged, I submitted my reply to the SSP and the district magistrate. The reply contained evidence as well,” said Rathore, adding that the shops are in possession of the same persons who had been allotted these in 2001.
Tahir said that during her tenure of 1995-2000, the 33 shops were built and possession was handed over to various people after due process. However, she alleged, the documents were forged and the same shops were reallotted to other persons in 2001. She alleged that the new allottees took possession of the shops forcibly by throwing out belongings of the original allottees.