The family of Mahboa businessman Indra Kant Tripathi, who was found with a bullet wound in his car on September 8 and later succumbed to his injuries, has questioned the Special Investigation Team (SIT)’s report in which it claimed that the 44-year-old was killed by his own licensed gun and that no one was in the car except him.
Tripathi’s nephew Kamal Kant said on Saturday, “Without saying in clear terms, the SIT has made people draw the conclusion that my uncle committed suicide by shooting himself with his own gun. If we believe this theory, then SIT should also explain what forced my uncle to take such a drastic step. They should make it public too.”
Questioning the SIT for submitting its report without having recorded statements of the main accused — former Mahoba SP Manilal Patidar — Kamal Kant said, “In the fact-finding inquiry, the SIT was required to record the statements of all the people linked to the murder probe. The SIT wrapped up its probe without recording the statement of prime accused, police officers Manilal Patidar and Devendra Shukla. I could not understand why the SIT was in a hurry to submit its report.”
On September 8, Tripathi was found injured with a bullet injury in his neck in his car in Mahoba. Just a day before he was shot, Tripathi, who ran a business of supplying explosives to people involved in mining, had accused Patidar of extortion and criminal intimidation in a video messagehe posted on social media. After the incident, Patidar and Shukla were suspended. Five days later, Tripathi died and Patidar and others, including two local businessmen, were booked for murder.
On why Patidar was not questioned, SIT chief Inspector General Vijay Singh Meena said on Friday the suspended officer had conveyed to them he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was undergoing treatment, while Shukla was absconding.
“ I read in the newspapers that the SIT was informed through a counsel of Patidar that he was Covid-positive. The SIT did not try to verify this claimand kept questioning the victim’s family and his business partners’ version,” Kamal Kant said, adding that it was surprising to know that the police could not trace their own officer.
While the SIT is carrying out a fact-finding probe to ascertain the roles of Patidar and Shukla in Tripathi’s death, the murder case is being separately investigated by Mahoba police.
Circle Officer, Mahoba city, Kalu Singh Police said their investigation was still on. “Our investigators will look into the SIT’s findings. All the angles into murder would be looked into before reaching any conclusion.” He also said that plans are afoot to form another SIT to investigate the case.
“We know the police investigation would also take the SIT’s line. We will never get justice unless the government takes some steps. We demand that an IPS-rank officer be appointed to investigate the case. Police should also check the health status of Patidar,” said Kamal Kant.
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