ndsharma's blog

Shehla Masood murder: father’s agony

Posted on: September 14, 2011

Shehla Masood’s father Sultan Masood has told a national TV channel that Shivraj Singh Chauhan knows about those behind his RTI activist daughter’s murder but he is hiding the truth. The chief minister was expected to make his position clear but all he did about this serious allegation was to mobilise the government machinery to ensure that this was completely blacked out in the local media.
Sultan Masood is a retired government official and knows what he is saying, particularly about the State’s chief minister in connection with a high-profile murder. He was aware of Shehla’s RTI applications about the property details of the chief minister’s close relations. Sultan has also expressed surprise at how selectively the police had interrogated the BJP leaders who are under suspicion for varying reasons.
Shehla Masood, in her late thirties, was found shot dead in her car around 11 in the morning of August 16. A vibrant RTI activist and supporter of Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption, she was galvanised by the news of Hazare’s arrest in Delhi that morning and had planned, along with fellow RTI activists, a signature campaign at the Boat Club at 2 pm in support of Anna Hazare.
If what Sultan Masood says has a grain of truth, that also explains the anxiety of the police top brass to reach the spot promptly after the murder and ‘take care’ of the situation and the spread of the canard about Shehla having committed suicide. That the police had tampered with the evidence had started coming out on the very second day of the CBI having started its own investigation.
Calls were made from Shehla’s mobile long after she was killed and the police had taken the mobile into their custody. The car in which the slain body of Shehla was found was ‘forensically examined’ by the police and sealed. The CBI, when it took possession of the car, found a gold pendant, supposed to be Shehla’s (the chain without the pendant was provided by the police) and several files.
It is difficult to imagine that the police officers and forensic experts of Madhya Pradesh are dullards or blind and did not see these objects in the car. What game the police had played by leaving (or planting afresh) these objects in the car is for the CBI to find out. There is a suspicion that the police had meddled with contents in Shehla’s laptop also but the CBI is yet to examine it. The laptop must have contained the explosive stuff about some persons whom the Madhya Pradesh police want to protect.
Police mischief
The real extent of the police mischief may not be known till the CBI files a criminal case for destruction of evidence (which is a serious offence) against all those who have handled the Shehla Masood murder case till the CBI took it over and interrogates them formally.
Sultan Masood’s allegation that Shivraj Singh Chauhan knows about the conspirators behind Shehla’s murder brings into focus an entirely new situation which, though in the air for some time, was hitherto dismissed as only a political phenomenon. Masood’s observation, the police officers’ act of tampering with the evidence and the selective interrogation of the BJP leaders (as Masood has alleged) make it more than political. The scenario unfolds like this:
A fierce internecine war has been going on in the Madhya Pradesh BJP for quite some time. At least three groups have been trying to dislodge Shivraj Singh Chauhan and have been working quietly trying to muster support within the party. An open revolt is out of the question because no group is certain that it will get the requisite support within the party and also from the Central leadership, already wary of the infightings in other States.
One of the groups saw the utility of Shehla Masood in its power play. Shehla was more than friendly with BJP member of Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand and the party’s national spokesperson Tarun Vijay. The latter was so much under the spell of the ebullient RTI activist that he was said to be contemplating separation from his wife for marrying Shehla Masood. They had travelled together several times to exotic places inside the country and outside. Their ‘love’ must have been like that of two teenagers going by the frequency and lengths of the calls they had been making to each other, as revealed by the call details of Shehla’s mobile.
The BJP group makes use of Shehla Masood through Tarun Vijay to get RTI applications filed seeking information about finances/deals of Chauhan’s relatives and a few BJP leaders whom Chauhan has gone out of the way to benefit with the public money. The business activities of a brother of Chauhan’s wife Sadhna Singh and a builder (who had been deciding about the postings of IAS officers and Chauhan had merely been signing the notification) are said to be particularly vulnerable. Official disclosure of the details could hurt Chauhan’s position, along with their also.
Then there are those engaged in illegal mining and wildlife smuggling, operating reportedly under the patronage of the Chauhan coterie. Shehla Masood had not only filed RTI applications about their activities but also had been in communication with the Central ministers, first Jairam Ramesh and then Jayanthi Natarajan. An exposure of their activities would have been disastrous not only for them but for certain politicians and bureaucrats also. Could it be that Chauhan and his trusted police officers were aware, as Sultan Masood feels, about whoever was plotting elimination of Shehla Masood?


3 Responses to "Shehla Masood murder: father’s agony"

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September 2011
« Aug   Oct »

Outright Perilous!

An egoist as the head of the government is bad enough. An egotist is a nuisance as his constant chant of I…, I…., I….. jars on the listeners’ years. But when he loses touch with the reality and starts believing his imaginary achievements to be his real achievements, that’s outright perilous.

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