STF indifferent to Rai murder probe
THE INVESTIGATION into the most sensational incident of 2005 ? the Ghazipur shootout claiming life of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai and seven others ? seems to have become irrelevant for the elite special task force (STF) now.india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 01:10 IST
THE INVESTIGATION into the most sensational incident of 2005 — the Ghazipur shootout claiming life of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai and seven others — seems to have become irrelevant for the elite special task force (STF) now.
The State government already had made its stand clear for not transferring the case to the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI). The government had claimed that STF was capable enough to trace the shooters. The shootout had taken place on November 29 in which the shooters had used over a dozen A-K series rifles.
Former SSP STF Akhil Kumar, who had acquired court order to get voice of the main accused in the case Mukhtar Ansari examined, suddenly left for a month- long tour to US on January 3. As Ansari refused to allow the STF team to go ahead for the examination it could not be conducted then.
However, no further efforts were made to collect the voice sample of the jailed don after Akhil Kumar left the investigation in the lurch. And now there is no STF team engaged in the investigation.
On the other hand, taking advantage of the indifferent attitude of the investigating agency gangsters like Munna Bajrangi, Sanjeev Maheshwari and Firdaus wanted in the case ensured shifting to safest hideouts.
When asked if he had gone through the progress report in the high profile case, newly posted SSP STF SK Bhagat said he was yet to look into the matter. He said that he got engaged in another case soon after his joining the agency but he would soon reorganise the things.
When asked which team was assigned the job to investigate the case Bhagat replied that ASP Vijay Bhushan was handling it. Significantly, the same ASP was engaged in a month-long investigation of Lucknow-based timber merchant Khaliq Mukhtar Khan’s kidnapping. The ASP had led the team which had rescued Khan from Patna, Bihar on January 24.
SP (Crime) Lucknow Umesh Singh too was roped in the investigation team along with STF sleuths following proposal of the former SSP Akhil Kumar after the State government handed over the case to the STF. Umesh Singh was attached with the probe team as he already was collecting information about the whereabouts of Munna Bajrangi, Maheshwari and Firdaus.
Umesh Singh was provided with a constable expert in electronic surveillance from the STF to assist in the probe then. However, soon after Akhil Kumar left for the US the constable was not only withdrawn back to the STF headquarters but he also faced wrath of the seniors for not reporting about his duty there.
Besides Varanasi police none of the STF teams were concerned tracing the most wanted gangsters in the sensational shootout case.
First Published: Feb 02, 2006 01:10 IST