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Jessica case: Cops to examine Sabrina statement
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 05, 2006 10:33 IST
Umesh Katna, special commissioner of Delhi police, who is leading the re-investigation into the Jessica Lal murder case has said he would look into the statement of Sabrina Lal, sister of Jessica, wherein she said that Amod Kanth -- director general Arunachal Pradesh had called her and advised her to put pressure on Delhi Police Commissioner Dr K K Paul to retain the same team for re-investigations.
Jessica Lal was murdered in April 1999, when she was allegedly shot at point blank range by Manu Sharma for refusing him a drink at Tamarind Court -- an illegal restaurant run by socialite Bina Ramani -- in Delhi's Qutub Colonade.
All the nine accused, including prime suspect Sharma were let off by the trial court for lack of evidence provoking protests from all sections of Indian society.
Delhi Police Commissioner Dr K K Paul has ordered a fresh probe into the case and has also filed an appeal in the Delhi high court against the order of the trial court.
"We will have to see what Sabrina has said and we would have to verify the veracity of her claim and why such an advice was given would have to be studied and if needs be, the officer who gave the advice would be questioned," Katna told rediff.com over phone in New Delhi Tuesday.
Sabrina Lal confirmed in her conversation with this correspondent that Kanth had indeed called her to his residence to give his advice.
"I landed up there with my friend and I was shocked to hear his advice. I kept quiet on it for sometime, but some reporter dug it out by talking to me again and again. Then I came out with this statement. Of course I stand by my statement," she said.
Kanth, when contacted on phone in Arunachal, refused to give his reaction to the statement. "I have nothing to say on this matter," he said.
A senior official who had conducted the investigations wondered why Lal has chosen to speak out about something which happened more then a month ago. Is she giving statements at the instance of someone, the officer wondered.
He claimed the investigations conducted by the previous team had provided strong grounds for appeal in the high court.
Delhi police special team has so far questioned 17 officials connected with the investigations of the Jessica Lal murder case probe.
Katna, however, confirmed the presence of Hollywood star Steven Segal and 10 others at the party on the fateful night.
"We would have to see what happened. Why were they not questioned? Whether they were eye witnesses or not, like a senior officer of Delhi police who was also present at the party," he said.