Shehla Masood murder: BJP politician in MP being probed

New Delhi/Indore: A senior BJP politician from Madhya Pradesh is being investigated by CBI in connection with the murder of RTI activist Shehla Masood in which three persons including a woman architect and the alleged contract killer have been arrested.

The architect Zahida Pervez and co-accused Sakib Ali were remanded in six days CBI custody by an Indore court while the alleged contract killer identified as Irfan was sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a court in Kanpur.

 Shehla Masood murder: BJP politician in MP being probed

Interior designer Zahida Pervez, arrested in connection with the murder of RTI activist Shehla Masood, is escorted at a police station in Bhopal. PTI

CBI sources in New Delhi said that based on the questioning of Zahida, who was arrested yesterday, the agency is likely to arrest one more person soon.

Irfan, who was picked up by UP Special Task Force from a house at Talaq Mahal locality of Kanpur late last night, has confessed that he and two others were hired for Rs 3 lakh for killing the RTI activist in Bhopal last year, Kanpur police
claimed today.

CBI said the agency is yet to ascertain the exact motive which led to the killing of the 32-year-old Masood and that a clearer picture would emerge after detailed questioning of Zahida and Irfan.

CBI sources in Delhi claimed that the BJP politician under its scanner was quite close to Zahida. The agency did not name the politician.

They said the politician has already been questioned by the agency before arrests in the case were made yesterday and if required he would again be interrogated.

CBI has conclusively found that Masood was in touch with the same politician who was once the head of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation before differences arose between them because of RTI applications filed by her, the agency sources said.

The sources said the agency is now trying to evaluate if the politician was also involved in the murder conspiracy or not.

During interrogation, Irfan said that he along with Shanu Alaunga, a sharpshooter who was shot dead in an unrelated incident in November last year, and one Salim had been hired for Rs three lakh by a Bhopal-based person to carry out the murder, DSP Samir Saurabh said in Kanpur.

Irfan claimed Rs two lakh was paid to Shanu who took him and Salim to Bhopal from Kanpur on August 10 to eliminate Masood. They had been promised that the rest of the amount will be paid after the killing, according to police.

He claimed it was Shanu who shot dead the RTI activist on 16 August and later they returned to Kanpur. Shanu was gunned down in November last year by two motorcycle-borne youths outside the court in Kanpur. The third killer, Salim, is still at large.

Zahida allegedly ordered the killing of the RTI activist as she was suspicious of her relationship with her husband. Police said Irfan has a criminal record and several cases including under Gangster's Act are registered against him. He
has been jailed several times.

In Indore, the CBI lawyer did not tell the court what was Sakib Ali's role in the crime. The CBI lawyer said the agency needed the custody of Zahida and Sakib Ali as it was yet to recover the vehicle used in the killing, and trace the money that had been paid to the contract killer.


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Updated Date: Feb 29, 2012 21:29:19 IST