November 7, 2019 11:02:25 am
Over seven years after a girl was abducted from her home in Muzaffarpur and five years after the CBI took over the case, the premier investigating agency has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to anyone who has information that may help solve the case.
The girl, Navaruna Chakravarty, then 12, was kidnapped from her home on the intervening night of 18 and 19 September, 2012. She was found murdered on November 26 the same year.
The agency has pasted pamphlets in at least four places across the city announcing the reward in the much-discussed case.
On November 25, 2013, the top court had directed the CBI to investigate the matter. The agency had registered a FIR on February 14, 2014. A contempt petition was filed against the CBI in March, 2016 by a Vaishali resident and law graduate Abhishek Ranjan and others. Responding to it, the apex court had directed the CBI to complete the investigation by October 31, 2016. Since then, the agency has been applying for extensions. The Supreme Court has set a deadline of November 21 this year for the agency to file the chargesheet.
The move by the agency to announce the reward five years after taking over the case has drawn flak from various quarters, including Navaruna’s family.
Navaruna’s father Atulya Chakravarty, who was also summoned by the CBI recently, expressed his dismay at the “tardy pace of investigation” and said he had given the investigating officers all the necessary information. “I am greatly upset at the way the CBI has gone about the case. When there is no chargesheet after five years, I do not see any justice coming for my daughter. The public notice is a mockery of investigation process,” he added.
CBI DSP (special crime branch) Patna, Ajay Kumar, however, explained that the CBI had announced the reward to gather information from the public. Asked if the agency was under pressure from the impending Supreme Court deadline, the DSP said: “We are not under any kind of pressure… We have issued a public notice with the hope of getting some leads.” He, however, did not comment when asked if the reward could have been announced in the initial stages of the investigation.
Abhishek Ranjan said: “The public notice after five years of CBI taking over the case looks like a mockery of the investigation process. Our main argument in the Supreme Court for initiating the Contempt Petition was that it was willful disobedience and non-adherence to the directions of the court.”
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