September 23, 2020 1:27:12 pm
Two weeks after 44-year-old businessman Indra Kant Tripathi was shot at in Mahoba, leading to his death five days later, police are yet to question suspended SP Manilal Patidar and local station house officer Devendra Shukla, who are among the main accused in the murder case.
Tripathi’s two business partners, however, have been frequently interrogated. On Monday too, they were questioned. Patidar, former SHO of Kabrai police station Shukla, Suresh Soni and Brahmdutt (both local businessmen) had been booked in the murder case. Just like Tripathi, Soni and Brahmdutt also supply mining explosives. Soni lives close to Tripathi’s house at Kabrai town and Brahmudtt’s house is at a distance.
“We have yet to question former SP Mani Lal Patidar and former SHO Devendra Shukla. Notices have so far not been issued to them,” said the circle officer and investigating officer, Kallu Singh. However, sources said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed for the case had sent notices to the two suspended police officers.
Singh could not explain why Patidar and Shukla had not been called for questioning. The statement of Suresh Soni and Brahmudutt had been recorded, said Singh.
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Triptahi had accused Patidar of criminal intimidation and trying to extort money from him in a video recorded before the attack on September 8.
Police are still probing the alleged role of Tripathi’s close associates, including business partners Purushotam Soni and Bal Kishore, in the case. They are regularly being called by the three-member SIT headed by Inspector General Vijay Singh Meena.
SIT is likely to summon Tripathi’s family members and his close associates.
His elder brother Ravi Kant said, “SIT is regularly calling us for questioning. Purushotam Soni and Bal Kishore are also being called at the police lines for questioning. On Tuesday, I again went to SIT and stayed at the police lines for around three hours. ”
“We have no information what evidence police have collected so far. Police are not sharing any information with us,” said Tripathi’s nephew Kamal Kant.
Four days ago, Ravi Kant had shot off a letter to the UP chief secretary and the home secretary alleging that the family was pressured to reach a compromise. He claimed that police were targeting Soni and Kishore, who were like family members, to intimidate the Tripathi family.
On Sunday, Mahoba police had arrested a local gangster, Ashu Bhadoria, but not in connection with the murder of Tripathi.
Bhadoria’s name came up in the investigation as it was alleged that he had called a close relative of Tripathi three hours before he was shot on September 8, asking about the businessman’s whereabouts and telling him to convey that“Raja saheb naaraj ho rahe hai (Raja saheb is getting annoyed)”.
A senior police officer said that during questioning Bhadoria claimed to have got Tripathi’s brother-in-law Brijesh Shukla’s cellphone number from a resident and attempted to threaten Indra Kant through him.
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