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Cops cagey, Cong cries collusion

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 11:18 IST

A day after the Ujjain college election violence leading to the death of Prof H S Sabharwal, police have not named the ABVP activists involved in the incident.  So far two students, belonging to ABVP, have been arrested.

The post-mortem on Sabharwal ruled out his death due to heart attack. “In our opinion, the deceased died of syncope due to shock as a result of injury to vital organ (lung-left)”, the report said.

With the professor’s murder confirmed, the police are under immense pressure to name and arrest the assailants. The Congress swung into action on Sunday to turn the heat on the BJP government in the State. It called a bandh in Ujjain on Monday.

Congress state president Subhash Yadav, leader of opposition Jamuna Devi and other senior leaders came down to Ujjain and met the family members of Prof Sabharwal.

Demanding a CBI inquiry into the incident, the two Congress leaders accused the police of shielding the accused. Despite the ‘fact’ that the incident had taken place in the presence of police and district administration officials, a case has been registered against anonymous persons, they said, demanding resignation of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the wake of deteriorating law & order situation. They expressed apprehension that the police would implicate innocent persons in the case and let off the real culprits — the ABVP activists. 

Meanwhile, the police failure in identifying the assailants has piqued college teachers and people. Doubting the sincerity of the police, college employees said they first of all did not stop the ‘hooligans’ from entering the premises and then were reluctant to register Prof Shabharwal’s death as a case of murder under section 302 of the IPC. Only after pressure from teachers and Congress leaders, a case of murder was registered, they said.

They argued that the policemen must have known the ABVP activists as they took them inside for talks with the principal. Police however said that no witnesses had so far come forward to give details about the assailants. “We have noted down over 20 statements of professors and college staff but none had seen the assault on Prof Sabharwal,” said Superintendent of police Jaideep Prasad.

The police, on a complaint of Prof. ML Nath who was injured in the violence and hospitalised, registered a case of riot under sections 147, 148 and 149 of the IPC against ABVP state president Shashranjan Akela, and activists Pankaj Mishra, Sudhir Yadav and Sanjeev Jain. Yadav and one Hemant Dubey has been arrested and others are absconding, Prasad added. 

Congress MLA Premchand Guddu claimed that ABVP state president Akela along with activists Hemant Yadav, Rizwan Nagori, Bhanu Bhadoria and Pankaj Mishra had thrashed Prof. Sabharwal leading to his death. But the police are not taking action under pressure from the RSS and the State Government, Guddu said.    

Prof Sabharwal was cremated at the Kshipra ghat in the afternoon. Earlier, his body was handed over to the family members after a two-hour post-mortem examination.

Jamuna Devi said the BJP Government in the State  allowed the Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, RSS and the ABVP to indulge in rowdyism and as and when an incident like the one at Ujjain occurs, the Chief Minister assures an inquiry but outcome of any such inquiry is never made public. Accusing the Chief Minister to have become a puppet in the hands of RSS, Jamuna Devi demanded a ban on ABVP and other outfits allied to the RSS.

In a separate press statement, former minister and Congress MLA Ajay Singh said that Ujjain incident has once again exposed the fascist face of the RSS and allied outfits. (With inputs from Bhopal)