Nearly two years after the murder of an Umaria-based journalist and his relatives, the Madhya Pradesh High Court Friday ordered a CBI probe into the case and asked the agency to complete the probe within 90 days. Chandrika Rai, a 43-year-old stringer for Hindi newspapers, his wife Durga, a former Janpad Panchayat member, and two children were murdered at Rai’s office-cum-residence in Umaria town on February 17, 2012.
The police had first claimed the killings were linked to a failed bid to collect ransom after the kidnapping of a government officer, and later arrested Rai’s driver, accusing him of the crime. While social activists alleged local mining mafia was behind it, Rai’s family shad questioned the shoddy police probe. Rai’s younger brother Mithilesh moved the HC requesting a CBI probe to unravel the truth.
Advocate Adarsh Muni Trivedi said the court has asked the police and the special task force to hand over all diaries and documents to the CBI within 30 days. He argued the line of investigation had completely changed after then DGP S K Rout reached Umaria from Bhopal. He said the police neither examined three condoms found at the crime spot nor collect fingerprints. The division bench stayed the trial in the Sessions court and ruled that the CBI will file a new chargesheet.
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