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SHO's suicide: CBI quizzes Rajasthan Cong MLA, Gehlot's OSD

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
July 21, 2020 17:02 IST
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The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday questioned Congress MLA Krishna Poonia and Deva Ram Saini, the officer on special duty (OSD) to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, in connection with the alleged suicide by a police officer in Churu district on May 23, officials said.


A team of the CBI's special crime unit in Delhi is in Jaipur to record statements in connection with the death of Rajgarh Station House Officer (SHO) Vishnudutt Vishnoi, whose body was found hanging from the ceiling of his official residence.

The team questioned Saini, the OSD to the Rajasthan chief minister, for nearly two hours, while Poonia was quizzed for about two-and-a-half hours at her residence, the officials said.

This was the second time Poonia, an Olympian, was questioned in connection with the matter.

The agency had quizzed her for nearly three hours at her Jaipur residence on Monday evening, the officials said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have alleged that Poonia was putting pressure on Vishnoi, which triggered his drastic move, a charge denied by the Sadulpur MLA.

The questioning comes at a time when Gehlot is engrossed in a pitched battle with his bete noire, Sachin Pilot, who has been ousted from the post of deputy chief minister, which, in turn, has raised questions over the stability of the Congress government in Rajasthan.

The Congress is facing a rebellion by Pilot and 18 other MLAs against Gehlot.

A probe by the state police into horse-trading charges, based on tapped telephonic conversations purportedly of some leaders, has turned the situation murkier.

Sources, however, said the CBI is conducting the probe into the police officer's alleged suicide, a case handed over to it by the state government itself, professionally.

They added that people are being questioned to know about various aspects of the case and it does not mean that they are being accused as the final picture will emerge only after the completion of the investigation.

The Rajasthan government had handed over the probe in the matter to the central agency.

The state had, in 1990, communicated to the Centre its denial of 'general consent' to the CBI to carry out an investigation within its territory through a letter.

On Monday evening, the Rajasthan government issued a notification reiterating its position.

The notification said prior approval will have to be taken from the state government on a case-by-case basis to investigate any crime falling under section 3 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act.

Vishnoi's brother had filed a complaint with the Rajasthan police, alleging that the deceased was under pressure, which led him to take the drastic step.

Two suicide notes were recovered from the SHO -- one addressed to his parents and the other to the superintendent of police (SP) of Churu.

In the suicide note to the SP, Vishnoi had said he was not able to bear the pressure being put on him.

He had also said that he tried to give his best to the Rajasthan police.

A screenshot of a purported WhatsApp chat Vishnoi had with one of his activist friends, in which he talked about being trapped in dirty politics, had also gone viral on the social media.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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