Twenty-four hours after the mutilated bodies of Bhopal lawyer Naveen Agrawal and his hotelier brother Sudhir were found near a canal in a village in adjacent Hoshangabad district, Harda superintendent of police (SP) has been removed from the post.
The abduction and murder of the brothers over a land dispute had triggered huge agitation in the state capital and Harda, with over thousand lawyers, traders and Agrawal community members demanding the removal of the SP.
Naveen Agrawal, 45, and Sudhir, 51, were allegedly attacked and abducted from the Harda’s Mohanpur village by the aides of Jagdish Rajput over land dispute on May 23. Their bodies were found on May 26.
According to sources at state police headquarters in Bhopal, SP Prem Babu Sharma has been shunted and attached to the police headquarters in Bhopal as an assistant inspector general of police (AIG), while 13th Special Armed Force (SAF) battalion commandant Aditya Pratap Singh has been appointed the new Harda police superintendent.
On Thursday, Sirali police station in-charge sub-inspector VS Ghuraiya was suspended for failing to take timely action in the case. An inquiry was also ordered against him.
People close to the Agrawal family told HT on Friday that the order to shift the Harda SP to Bhopal was issued a few hours after Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke to the bereaved family members over phone late on Thursday night.
The chief minister had also assured Naveen’s widow Sarika that immediate action would be taken against officials concerned for slow investigations in the matter, they said.
Speculations were rife that the family may take the bodies to neighbouring Betul district, ahead of the May 30 Ghoradongri assembly bypoll. Apprehensive that the protests may mar the BJP’s poll prospects could have hastened the action against the Harda SP, sources said.
However, the family cremated the bodies of the Agrawal brothers in Harda on Friday.
‘Harda SP already on possible transfer list’
Harda SP Prem Babu Sharma was already on the transfer list that the district police chief was expected to issue next month, sources in the PHQ said
The Harda double murder only hastened the IPS officer’s transfer
Meanwhile, Hoshangabad range inspector general of police SK Saxena has declared a reward of `5,000 each for information on the five other accused in the kidnapping and murder case. The others on run include four sons of prime conspirator Jagdish Rajput and his nephew Lallu
Till now seven accused, including Rajput, his wife, two sons, two nephews and Indore resident Nikhil Tiwari have been arrested for the brutal killing of the Agrawal brothers.