The probe into the murder of RTI activist Shehla Masood may see more arrests as the CBI on Wednesday hinted at the possibility of involvement of a Bhopal-based BJP legislator.
CBI sleuths, who had arrested a Bhopal-based interior designer, Zahida Parvez, Tuesday for plotting to kill Shehla, said they hoped to reveal the alleged role of an MLA.
Zahida and another accused, Saqib Danger were produced in a special CBI court in Indore on Wednesday. The court remanded them to CBI custody for a week.
Officially, the CBI is tight-lipped about giving out details of the case. Reliable sources said that Zahida hired three contract killers - Irfan, Shanu and Salim - for a sum of Rs.five lakh with the help of Saqib who allegedly acted as a 'middle man'. Saqib and Irfan have been arrested in the case.
Accused Irfan, who was remanded to 14 days judicial custody by a Kanpur court, said that initially he was reluctant to target Shehla, a woman.
"But she (Zahida) told us that Shehla was a bad woman who was luring many young girls into prostitution."
Irfan's companion Shanu who reportedly shot Shehla in broad daylight Aug 16, 2011 was killed in November last year. Shanu was gunned down by two motorcycle-borne youths outside a local court in Kanpur.
In Bhopal, sources said both Shehla and Zahida were initially friends and then fell out. They were both close to the BJP MLA, currently under the CBI scanner. The sources added that the exact motive behind Shehla's killing seemed to be a combination of rivalry and a love-triangle.
Zahida (35) was allegedly benefiting from her proximity to the local MLA in terms of getting big contracts while Shehla, an RTI activist, sought to "expose" Zahida and her alleged patrons.
Shehla's father Masood Sultan said that he was not aware of his daughter's 'friendship' with Zahida.
"I have full faith in the CBI and want the truth to come out. I have not understood the motive behind the murder so far," he said.