More than six months after Right to Information (RTI) activist Shehla Masood was shot dead, the CBI on Monday said it had solved the case with the arrest of a woman architect in Bhopal along with her associate.
The main accused — Zahida Parvez, 36 — was taken in custody on Tuesday. She and her associate will be produced in a court in Bhopal on Wednesday.
The CBI has said it has arrested Zahida, who is an interior designer also, because she is believed to have planned the killing. But the agency gave no motive for the crime in its press release.Sources said Zahida and Shehla, 39, were on bad terms.
Shehla was killed at around 11 am on August 16, when she was in her Santro outside her residence.
As suspected earlier, a professional shooter was hired to kill Shehla.
Sources, however, said the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation had floated a tender for constructing a five-star hotel in Bhopal. Yes Bank was financing the project but it was delayed, ostensibly due to Shehla’s RTI queries about land use, change of partners in the project, and other terms and conditions. It is speculated that Zahida had a contract in the project.
The CBI’s other surmise is that Zahida had allegedly “issued the contract to kill Shehla due to a romantic triangle. Zahida was convinced that her husband, Asad Parvez, was involved in a relationship with Shehla”.
One of the two criminals hired to kill Shehla is suspected to be dead. A CBI source said, “The female architect had hired a contract killer, who in turn sub-contracted the job to kill Shehla to another hired criminal.”
The source added, “One of the two hired killers is now suspected to be dead. We are examining if he had been killed to avoid detection of the conspiracy to target Shehla.”
The CBI has also not ruled out the possibility of the involvement of “some political elements” in the crime.