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Maya reopens CBI probe in Pal murder case

Trouble for SP as Mayawati reopens murder case of BSP party MLA Raju Pal, report Umesh Raghuvanshi & Vijay Sharma.
None | By Umesh Raghuvanshi and Vijay Sharma, Lucknow
UPDATED ON MAY 16, 2007 04:03 AM IST

True to her word, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Tuesday took up the task of making Samajwadi Party leaders accountable for their wrong-doings. As a first step, she recommended a CBI probe into the murder of Bahujan Samaj Party MLA from Allahabad Raju Pal in 2005 allegedly involving SP MP Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf among others.

Mayawati has decided to reopen the case and hand it over to the CBI. In 2005, then Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had turned down her plea to hand over the case to the investigating agency.

Princpal Secretary (Home) K Chandramauli said, “A letter recommending a CBI probe has been sent to the Union government. Samajwadi Party MP Atiq Ahmed, his brother and seven to eight other persons have been named in the case as accused.”

Pal, his security guard and a village pradhan were sprayed with bullets in broad-day light in Allahabad on January 25, 2005. Pal had reportedly stopped his vehicle to give a lift to a woman.

The incident had led to the imposition of curfew and the administration had deployed Rapid Action Force and state police [personnel to bring the situation under control. Although Mulayam had promised to take action against the accused, he had turned down the plea to hand over the case to the CBI.

In the 2005 bypoll to the Allahabad (west) assembly, necessitated by Pal’s death, Mayawati's the BSP had fielded his widow Puja against Ashfraf. Ashraf had won then. This time, Puja returned the favour.

Chandramauli said the police had investigated the case and filed a chargesheet. He added that the state government was fully empowered to reopen the case and transfer the same to any other agency at any stage.

More transfers
Meanwhile, after shaking up the police and top bureaucratic set-up, the chief minister turned her attention to the lower rung officialdom on Tuesday. Around 75 IAS officers, including divisional commissioners and district magistrates, were shifted in the last 24 hours. The IAS list also includes 15 officers who were waiting for postings.

Mayawati had reshuffled nearly 200 IPS officers immediately after taking oath on May 13. There is a general feeling that officers with good records have been brought to the mainstream. The state cabinet had on Monday formulated a new transfer policy under which all cases would be routed through a Service Establishment Board. Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh would be the final authority to approve all transfers below the rank of principal secretary and additional director general of police.

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