Ranchi/Bokaro: A week after the death of Santosh Kumar Pandey (24), family members denied the involvement of Dumri legislator and JMM leader Jagarnath Mahato in the incident.
According to the police, the deceased’s brother, Anantlal Pandey, told the police that he and his family members were so disturbed after Santosh’s death that they named the Dumri legislator in the FIR. “In our investigation, we have not found any evidence against the legislator,” Jitendar Kumar Singh, the Bokaro superintendent of police (SP), said.
Santosh died at the Chandrapura Hospital after being thrashed by a group of people during a kangaroo court organised at Simrakulhi village under the Nawadih police station area of Bokaro district on March 20.
Earlier, the deceased had eloped with a woman on March 8. His brother had on March 21 lodged an FIR, alleging that Mahato tracked down the couple in Chennai and brought them back to Jharkhand. Also, the MLA allegedly held a kangaroo court at Simrakulhi village and announced that Santosh be “punished” for bringing shame upon the woman’s family and members of the community.
The Jharkhand Police have formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the incident after the legislator was named in the FIR. A DSP-rank officer is leading the team.
The SIT has so far questioned 49 eyewitnesses, including seven close relatives of the deceased. All the eyewitnesses have so far ruled out the MLA’s role in the murder.
The police have arrested three people in this connection till now. They are closely inspecting a video recorded by an eyewitness to find out more clues.
Political conspiracy to implicate me, says MLA
Dumri MLA and JMM candidate for the Giridih Lok Sabha seat Jagarnath Mahato on Thursday said there was a political conspiracy to implicate him in the Santosh Pandey murder case.
He added that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) reports appearing in the media has cleared his name.
Mahato, his elder brother Baidnath and seven others have been named as accused in the case.
Addressing mediapersons in Bokaro on Thursday, Mahato said, he along with a group of people, was taking morning walk when Santosh was being beaten up.
“I rushed the injured boy to Chandrapura Hospital. Unfortunately, he died there,” he added.
The legislator also said that political parties were apprehensive of his popularity. “Seeing my mass appeal they (political parties) know that I would win the Lok sabha elections. So they conspired to implicate me in the case,” he said.
He said rumours that he would be disqualified from contesting the elections due to the incident have also been proved false.