Haren Pandya Murder: Wife Wants Re-Investigation

Haren Pandya Murder: Wife Wants Re-Investigation
Wife of slain former Minister of State for Home Haren Pandya has requested Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to call for re-investigation from CBI into her husband's murder amid fresh evidence unearthed by it in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

In March 2003, Pandya was murdered outside Law Garden here where he had gone for a morning walk and his body was found inside his car. Investigations in the case were handed over to CBI which managed to arrest the killers.

In a letter to Modi dated September 2, Pandya's wife Jagruti, referring to the statement of one of the witness in Sheikh fake encounter case Azam Khan to CBI, said ," I request Gujarat government to ask CBI to re-investigate Haren Pandya's murder case so as to know who had actually ordered his assassination, for what reasons and who have been shielding them till now," Jagruti said.

"Soon after the arrest of deputy commissioner of police, crime branch, Abhay Chudasama in the Sohrabbuddin case, Azam Khan has said that Chudasama had protected Sohrabuddin from being indicted in the Haren Pandya case. This means that though the killer of Haren have been caught and convicted, the masterminds are still at large," Jagruti said in the letter.

One of the main accused in the Sohrabuddin case, suspended IPS officer D G Vanzara, had initially supervised investigations in the Haren Pandya murder case till it was handed over to the CBI.

She also disagreed with findings of CBI probe which said that Pandya was killed because he was anti-Muslim.

"The first CBI investigations showed that terrorists killed him because they believed he was anti-Muslim. But, I do not think this reasoning was true. Haren had never done anything that could tag him as communal," Jagruti said.

Haren Pandya was Minister of State for Home in the Keshubhai Patel government. He was replaced by Gordhan Jhadafia after Modi was appointed as chief minister in 2001.

Meanwhile, the state government in a statement issued late evening in response to Jagruti Pandya's letter to Modi said that the CBI investigated the Haren Pandya murder case from the beginning.

The state further said that the CBI was successful in arresting the conspirators who were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Some of the convicts have appealed against the sentence in the Supreme Court and the case is sub-judice, it added.

The government statement further said since entire investigations were conducted by CBI there was nothing that can be done by the state government, and it cannot interfere or direct the CBI to do anything.
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