Former Uttar Pradesh minister and an accused in the Madhumita Shukla murder case Amarmani Tripathi has landed himself in a fresh controversy by allegedly using mobile phone to address a poll rally from inside his prison cell in Dehradun.
Following complaints from Uttar Pradesh authorities, Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri is reported to have lambasted police and jail officials and warned them of stern action if such goof-ups happen again.
All five accused in the case including the former minister's wife Madhumani are at present lodged in the jail in Dehradun after the trial was shifted to Uttarakhand following a petition by Madhumita's sister in Supreme Court.
This is not the first instance of Amarmani violating rules. Earlier this month, the accused had left the jail without intimating CBI officials while going to Uttar Pradesh to file his nomination papers.
CBI officials who were to accompany him as per SC guidelines had to chase Amarmani's vehicle for nearly three hours before they could stop it. The accused is contesting as a Samajwadi Party candidate from Laxmipur in Maharajganj district.
There are also reports that the former minister was being provided with VIP facilities inside his cell. Jail authorities, however, state that facilities accorded to Amarmani are as per provisions of the jail manual.
"We have mobile phone jammers inside the jail and close circuit TV cameras installed near Amarmani's cell. Hence, there is no possibility of him using mobile phones to address the poll rally from prison," asserted jailor VD Pandey.
He added that a thorough check of Amarmani's cell and belongings as well as of the entire jail was carried out on Sunday by a team led by IG (Prisons) Bhaskaranand Joshi, but no mobile phone was found inside the jail premises.
Pandey stated that the accused could have made phone calls while on his way to court for his appearances. But since the court hearing the case has remained closed for the past few days, he ruled out that possibility too.