THE WHEELS of justice might have just started to move. The CID on Thursday slapped a case of murder on ABVP state president Shashiranjan Akela and organising secretary Vimal Tomar, only a day after chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had written off the brutal killing of Ujjain professor H.S. Sabharwal as an accident.
The duo, who surrendered on Wednesday, were produced before judicial magistrate first class R S Madia and were remanded in police custody till September 2.
The arrests followed an inquiry by a CID team led by inspector-general M P Divedi and growing condemnation of the BJP government's attempt to hush up the shocking incident. The CID team recorded statements of more than 25 people, including Madhav College peon Komal Singh Sengar who had filed the murder FIR. Sabharwal’s son Himanshu is not impressed.
The government, he said, has been forced to act only to deflect media attention. Himanshu said he would file a special leave petition with the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the investigation to the CBI.
The police action, five days after a group of ABVP workers thrashed the professor for cancelling the student elections, has also done little to contain the damage to Chouhan government’s image.
Consider this: the chief minister has not sent a word of condolence to the family after the brutal death. His statement on Wednesday that the professor's death was 'an accident' was followed by BJP president Satyanarayan Jatia's charge that the Congress was behind the attack.
More shocking was state PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya's stance. He accused the slain professor's son Himanshu Sabharwal of staging a publicity stunt by accusing the police of inaction. The insensitivity was reflected in other BJP leaders' statements too.
Top cop defends probe
DGP SWARAJ Puri, however, has defended the Ujjain police. Addressing a press conference, Puri said the investigation was proceeding in the right direction. He blamed the delay in the probe of key witness, Komal Singh Sengar.
“He fell sick soon after the incident and this slowed us down. But after his statement was recorded, police have taken the action”, said Puri. Asked about the CM’s statement that the death was an accident and not murder, Puri said that after the CID’s preliminary inquiry report was submitted today, Akela and Tomar were arrested. Asked if he considered the death an accident, Puri said: “The investigation is on and the truth would come out after the inquiries are over”.
CM takes Delhi train
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan left for New Delhi by Bhopal Express on Thursday night. The CM’s visit by train triggered off speculations in the political circles that he was summoned by the BJP high command to explain the situation arising out of the Ujjain incident. The incident caused embarrassment to the party given involvement of the ABVP activists in it.
However official sources said Chouhan was scheduled to visit New Delhi on Friday to attend a CMs’ conclave organised by India Today at New Delhi. But because of rough weather conditions he decided against flying to New Delhi on Friday morning and left for the national capital tonight by Bhopal Express.