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Family of slain activist demands CBI probe

Family refutes suggestion of some police officers that injury resulting in Masood’s death might have been 'self-inflicted'.

bhopal Updated: Aug 18, 2011 01:47 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times

The family of slain Right To Information (RTI) activist Shehla Masood accused the police on Wednesday of selling a suicide theory and demanded a CBI probe into her death.

Unidentified miscreants shot Masood, in the neck, from a point-blank range on Tuesday morning when she was boarding her car outside her residence at the upscale Koh-e-Fiza locality.

Some police officers had suggested the injury resulting in Masood's death might have been 'self-inflicted'. Medico-Legal Institute director DS Badkur made a similar observation.

Her father Masood Sultan, 72, said he feared the police are trying to twist the case.

"If it was a case of suicide, where is the gun?" he asked, "There was no trace of gunpowder on her hands either."

Sultan said his daughter seldom discussed her work but had lodged a complaint after receiving threats from a police officer.

"Masood had filed RTI applications against dozens of corrupt officials. It is convenient for the police to term it a suicide and close the investigation," said a person close to the family.

"Her laptop, which might contain vital information on the corrupt officials, is in the possession of the police."

Masood's cousin Umar Sharif said the family was not satisfied with the pace of investigation and sought a CBI inquiry.

Meanwhile, Gujarat police have set up five teams to investigate the murder, a senior officer said on Wednesday even as the the opposition Congress has demanded transfer of the case to the CBI.

Punish killers, says Jairam Ramesh
Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh wrote to Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday, demanding prompt action against Shehla Masood's killers.

Masood's widlife activism had often brought her in contact with Ramesh when he was in charge of the environment ministry.

In his letter, a copy of which is with the HT, Ramesh wrote: "She brought to my notice issues relating to Panna and Bandhavgarh (wildlife preserves)."

Urging the chief minister to bring her killer to book, Ramesh wrote: "This is the least we owe to the memory of a committed activist."

First Published: Aug 17, 2011 23:31 IST