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Biswas asked CBI to seek army help: home minister

Central Bureau of Investigation Joint Director U N Biswas had asked the agency's Patna-based SP to seek army help in arresting former Bihar chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav.

Disclosing this in the Lok Sabha on Friday, Union Home Minister Indrajit Gupta said a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident. He also said ''appropriate action'' based on the findings of the inquiry will be taken.

Giving details of the CBI move, which rocked Parliament for two days, Gupta said the agency tried to approach the Bihar chief secretary for help in arresting Laloo Yadav on July 29/30, 1997. However, as the top official was ''unavailable'', the director-general of police's help was sought. When the DGP said he would need more time in this regard, the Calcutta-based CBI joint director directed the agency's Patna-based SP to seek the army's assistance.

The SP's letter to the officer in charge of the Danapur cantonment stated, ''As per the oral directions issued by the Patna high court, this is to request you for favour of providing immediately armed contingent comprising at least one company to assist the CBI party to execute the non-bailable warrant against Laloo Prasad Yadav, former chief minister of Bihar.''

The army officer at Danapur did not respond to the request, saying the army would come to the aid of the civil administration only at the request of the notified civil authorities. They also informed the CBI officers that the guidance of army headquarters has been sought in this regard, revealed the home minister.

However, several MPs were not satisfied with the home minister's statement. Nitish Kumar (Samta Party) was the most vociferous and said there was a breakdown of the state machinery in executing the arrest warrant.

Some other MPs said the statement was silent on the alleged non-co-operation of the state government and the misuse of official machinery.

The home minister said there was no evidence so far about the breakdown of state machinery.

Meanwhile, the designated CBI court on Friday issued a show-cause notice to Bihar Director General of Police S K Saxena for not co-operating with the agency in executing the arrest warrant.

Special Judge S K Lal issued the notice on a petition filed by the CBI on July 30 and directed the DGP to send his reply by August 5.


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