DISMISSING THE “sting video” released by the BJP as “a joke”, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday alleged that the Centre was mounting such pressure to get him arrested that a CBI officer had killed himself. Denying the claim, the CBI said the officer “was in no way connected with the investigation of this case”.
“Two days ago, a CBI official died by suicide. We found that the officer was Jitendra Kumar, a legal advisor in CBI’s anti-corruption branch. His job was to approve or reject things based on legality. He was also looking into the legality of the FIR against me,” Sisodia said.
“We have found that he was being pressured to build a false case against me in a wrong manner and pressure was being built to arrest me. He was not permitting this. And there was so much pressure on him that he died by suicide. This is very sad. Pressure was being mounted to make a false case legally sound. This is wrong. My sympathies are with his family. I also want to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi, if you want to trap me in a wrong case, do it. You wanted to raid me, you did it. You filed a false case against me. You want to arrest me, tell me where you want me to come and I will be there. Please don’t pressure officers and cause them to die by suicide,” he said.
“This is destroying families. You keep thinking about who you can use the CBI and ED against, how you can topple elected governments, buy MLAs. When will you think about building schools and hospitals? About fighting inflation, jobs? All you think about is how to topple Opposition governments. I want to ask three questions of the PM about the suicide of Jitendra Kumar – why is there so much pressure on the officials that they are forced to die by suicide, and to what extent will you torture your own officials? Is the central government’s only job to run ‘Operation Lotus’? How many more sacrifices will it take to crush Opposition governments,” he said.
“This is a very sad incident. Officers are being forced to die by suicide, this has never happened,” said Sisodia.
Asked about the ‘sting’ video, Sisodia said: “BJP has been saying there is a scam and quoting numbers like Rs 30 crore, Rs 144 crore, Rs 1,300 crore. Then they got the CBI to file an FIR, wherein they tried to drag me into the white dealings between two companies. That was also on the basis of sources. My house was raided. They searched my locker; they didn’t find anything. When the CBI has almost given me a clean chit and couldn’t find anything against me, the BJP said it has conducted a sting. Then they make someone on the road sit in a car and ask him some questions. That is a sting? This is a joke. I also have many such videos. I will also give them, you should run them as well.”
The CBI called Sisodia’s allegations “mischievous and misleading”. “CBI strongly refutes this statement by Shri Sisodia. It is clarified that the gentleman officer, Late Shri Jitendra Kumar, was in no way connected with the investigation of this case. He was deputy legal advisor in-charge of prosecution, in which capacity he was supervising prosecutors who are conducting the trial of already chargesheeted cases in Delhi. Further, as per the Delhi Police, which is conducting the inquest into the death, the officer has not held anyone responsible for his death in his suicide note,” the agency said.
“The excise policy case is under investigation. As such, no clean chit has been given to any of the accused. The mischievous and misleading statement of Shri Sisodia is an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing investigation in Delhi excise policy case, and also amounting to interference in the inquest proceedings into the death of the gentleman officer,” the CBI said in its statement.
Responding to the CBI’s statement, Sisodia later said: “I agree that CBI officer Jitendra Kumar was not an investigative officer. He was a law officer dealing with my case. He was pressured to create a false story implicating me. He could not bear the pressure and committed suicide… There should be an independent judicial enquiry, headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge, into the cause of death.”