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Officer says he was told to go slow

Lamba also said that his seniors had asked him to bring Manu to Delhi from Chandigarh.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 23:24 IST
JT Vishnu

A police officer involved in the Jessica Lall murder probe has said that a senior IPS officer had briefed him "not to be too enterprising" and act slow in the case.

Inspector Raman Lamba also told the new team probing into the lapses and collusion between the police and the accused in the case that he had been made a scapegoat. Lamba was recently transferred from the special cell for not making serious efforts to recover the weapon used in the murder from main accused Manu Sharma.

Lamba told the team that his seniors had only asked him to seek custody and bring Manu to Delhi from Chandigarh. They had not given him specific directions regarding the weapon.

He said the then investigating officer, Surender Sharma, had written a letter to Metropolitan Magistrate V.K. Khanna on May 12, 1999, saying that Manu had revealed that the weapon was in Manali. Sharma had also sought seven days police custody of Manu to recover the weapon. But the police cut short Manu's custody without effecting the recovery.

"Since Sharma was responsible for the recovery of the weapon, why blame me when I was only given a particular task by my seniors?" Lamba told the investigators.

A letter by the then DCP (south) Sudhir Yadav to the chief judicial magistrate of Chandigarh, on May 6, 1999, (the day Manu was arrested) gives the details of Lamba's trip to that city.

Manu was arrested at 2.20 p.m. and brought to Delhi by Lamba around 9 p.m. for investigation, it says.