Architect Zahida Pervez, the suspected key conspirator in Right to Information (RTI) activist Shehla Masood's murder in Bhopal, had deployed an aide to witness the killing, a source in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Sunday.
The fresh twist came on a day the CBI searched the office of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh in Bhopal.
The CBI, which had questioned Singh in connection with Masood's murder on Saturday, suspects the MLA from Bhopal (central) is at the heart of a soured love triangle figuring him and the two women.
"Pervez had tasked an aide to be present near Masood's residence to see that the task was actually done," said the CBI source, adding that the agency did not want to disclose the identity of the aide at this point of the probe.
The CBI is also examining the possibility of Pervez being near the Koh-e-Fiza residence of Masood when she was shot on August 16, 2011, allegedly by Shanu Olanga (later killed by rivals), one of the four killers she had hired for the job.
The CBI made a breakthrough in the case after detecting that one of the contract killers had used a phone borrowed from a Bhopal school bus driver near Masood's house when she was shot.
This led the agency to Shakib Ali alias Danger, who allegedly took the murder contract from Pervez before outsourcing it to three associates - Olanga, Salim and Irfan - from Kanpur.
Pervez, Ali and Irfan are in CBI custody. Salim is on the run.
Meanwhile, Singh is maintaining a brave front. He told reporters on late on Saturday outside his home, "If I were a suspect, I would not have been here (home)."
Less than 24 hours later, CBI officials searched his office.