A political face-off over the murder of a civic body official intensified on Thursday with the AAP demanding the arrest of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung who “forwarded” a letter related to The Connaught Hotel submitted by BJP parliamentarian Maheish Girri.
Girri, however, stuck to his position that he had “neither written nor forwarded, nor submitted” any letter to the L-G’s office on the issue.
MM Khan, a legal adviser in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), was shot dead in Jamia Nagar on May 16, a day before he was slated to pass the final order on the hotel’s operation from a property leased out by the civic body.
The L-G’s office said in a statement on Thursday that Girri had submitted a letter from hotelier Ramesh Kakkar, allegedly seeking “removal” of the official from proceedings in a case pertaining to licence violation. The letter was sent to the NDMC chairman a day after the official’s murder.
It said the letter from Kakkar was forwarded according to “established procedures”. Jung’s office purportedly sent Kakkar’s petition against Khan to NDMC asking for “action as per law”.
The L-G’s office added that Jung forwarded the communication without knowing of the “tragic death” of the officer.
“I have been saying repeatedly that I never wrote any such letter. I reiterate I did not. If the (L-G’s) press release makes a reference to any letter written by me, then it is for the LG office to make things clear. What has Maheish Girri got to do?” he told reporters.
“If I have written such a letter, then the L-G office should make it public.”
Faced with a barrage of criticism from the AAP, Girri sat on a three-day hunger strike outside chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence earlier this week, demanding that the AAP leader prove his allegations or apologise.
He broke his fast after Union home minister Rajnath Singh visited him at the protest site.
After the L-G’s statement, the AAP escalated its confrontation with Jung over the murder.
AAP leaders termed the L-G’s admission a “vindication” of their allegations against Girri. It also demanded the arrest of Jung and urged the Centre to sack him as an impartial probe was not possible till the time Delhi Police reports to him.
“The chain of events establishes the political patronage Kakkar enjoyed from the L-G, Girri and (NDMC vice chairman Karan Singh) Tanwar. It also raises doubt about involvement of more BJP leaders in it. The three should be arrested and interrogated in the murder case of an honest officer,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.
AAP’s Delhi unit convener Dileep Pandey also addressed a press conference.
“His (Jung’s) role is suspicious in the case. Why had he written to NDMC seeking action against Khan? We demand that the L-G be arrested and sacked from his position,” Pandey said.
“We also demand that the Delhi police stop reporting to the L-G and report to ministry of home affairs,” he added.
The Delhi Police maintain that all documents related to the murder case have been examined and no connection of BJP leaders has been established in the crime.