‘Met man let off in Pandya murder case’

AdJagruti Pandya at a press conference in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Express Photo

Slain BJP leader Haren Pandya's wife Jagruti Pandya Thursday said she recently met Asgar Ali, the man accused of killing her husband who was later acquitted by Gujarat HC, at an Andhra Pradesh jail. Pandya, a former minister of state for home in the Narendra Modi government who had later fallen out with the CM, was shot dead on March 26, 2003.

Jagruti alleged that the CBI had failed to establish the motive behind Haren Pandya's murder under the influence of BJP.

Jagruti, who returned from Visakhapatnam on Thursday morning, has decided to seek a reinvestigation in the Pandya murder case after she met Ali, who is lodged in a Visakhapatnam jail.

"Talks with Ali reinforced my belief that CBI was grossly misused by NDA government and that belief was also proved right by the high court judgment," she alleged.

She also alleged that Rajendra Kumar, the Intelligence Bureau officer who was examined recently by CBI in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, was also responsible for providing inputs before Pandya's murder.

"Kumar was the IB officer who generated inputs that some terrorists were coming to Gujarat for an attack (and that formed the) basis for CBI to arrest Ali and the other accused," she claimed.

Pandya's widow sees a link between her husband's murder with the major "fake" encounters in Gujarat. She said, "The police officers who are accused in the fake encounter cases in Gujarat have played a role in Pandya's elimination too".

Jagruti said she had gone to meet Ali to collect more material evidence in the case. "My meeting with Ali lasted for two-and-a-half hours in which he narrated how, at the instance of CBI, he was framed in the case and how he was tortured to make a false confession.

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