The day after their arrest for arson at state Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshis residence,BSP leaders Jitendra Singh alias Babloo and Intezar Hussain Abdi alias Bobby had two high-profile visitors. Babu Singh Kushwaha and Nasimuddin Siddiqui,who are regarded as the most trusted ministers of Chief Minister Mayawati,went to Lucknow district jail and met them.
Both ministers arrived at the jail around 4 pm and went straight to the barrack where the two undertrials are lodged. There they met the two men and stayed there for about half an hour. Accompanied by Babloo and Abdi,they walked to the office of Superintendent SHM Rizvis office and stayed there for some time. After issuing instructions that the two should be treated properly,the ministers left.
However,a few others who had arrived with the ministers spent about an hour with the two men. Kushwaha is Minister for Mining,Co-operative and Family Welfare,while Siddiqui is Minister for Excise,PWD,Irrigation,Housing and Urban Planning and Agriculture.
The Congress has alleged that while Babloo and Bobby were involved in the arson,it was orchestrated by Kushwaha and Siddiqui at the instance of Mayawati,after Joshi made some objectionable comments against the Chief Minister in a speech at Moradabad. The Congress has filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court,seeking investigation by the CBI.
Babloo is BSP MLA from Bikapur,while Abdi is chairman of the LB Shastri Ganna Vikas Sansthan,with the status of a state minister. Both were arrested on Thursday evening for the incident which had taken place on July 15,2009.
The government blamed the delay in the case on Joshi and other inmates of the house,saying they did not cooperate with the CB-CID.
In a statement,Special DG (Law and Order) Brij Lal said the CB-CID had served notices to Rita Bahuguna Joshi and others several times to record their statements,but none appeared for it. But the CB-CID had recorded statements of 251 other witnesses and arrested Babloo and Bobby on the basis of evidence collected so far.
The Special DG said that CB-CID was also probing into the role of five youths,namely Guddu Yadav,Shiv Kumar Singh,Inder Singh,Jameer Khan and Susajjit Kumar Tiwari.
He added that Congress spokesperson Subodh Srivastava had handed over a complaint to the SHO,alleging that Babloo and Abdi were behind the arson. Joshi had faxed the same complaint to the Governor. Both complaints were incorporated in the CB-CID investigation,Lal said.
The special DG said that Joshi had filed a writ petition on August 20,2009 before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court,seeking transfer of the probe in the case to the CBI. On February 19,2010,the court had ordered the CB-CID not to submit the chargesheet.
Joshi also had filed an application before the court requesting that CB-CID be prevented not to record statement of the witnesses. The application was still pending,Lal said.
Intezar retains award
Despite his arrest,Intezar Hussain Abdi continues as chairman of the LB Shastri Ganna Vikas Sansthan. His nameplate was there at the office and the staff said they had no information about his removal.
Asked about his continuance after arrest,Principal Secretary for Sugarcane Sanjay Agarwal said,Right now there is no proposal before the government to remove Abdi from his post.
Abdi was appointed as chairman of the sansthan within days of the attack on Joshis residence and the Congress had alleged that it was reward from Mayawati for torching the house of her political rival.