Bhopal, Sep 1: BJP MP Tarun Vijay will be questioned in connection with the killing of RTI activist Shehla Masood's here on August 16, Madhya Pradesh Police said today. A police team from the state will soon visit New Delhi in this regard, it said.
“Although it has been decided to question Vijay in connection with Shehla's murder, no date has been fixed for the visit of the police team to New Delhi,” Bhopal Range IG, Vijay Yadav told PTI.
Reacting to the development, Congress leader Digvijay Singh demanded that the case be handed over to the CBI. “The way Masood has been killed is painful....Now that Tarun Vijay's name has cropped up, I believe the chief minister should hand over the case to the CBI,” the Congress general secretary said.
Madhya Pradesh BJP President, Prabhat Jha told reporters here that Vijay may have known Shehla but this itself was not enough to say that he was involved in her murder.
Prabhat said the Madhya Pradesh government has already asked the Centre to initiate a CBI inquiry into Shehla's murder.
“I only want that the guilty are not spared and the innocent in the case are not punished,” he said.
In Delhi, Tarun Vijay said he was ready to cooperate with investigators. He admitted that Shehla had been his close friend for several years and he wanted the killers nailed.
BJP MLA from Bhopal Dhruv Narayan Singh, who is also the son of former late chief minister Govind Narayan Singh, has been questioned about his relationship with Masood.
Of the two other BJP leaders, one is said to be close to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, the prime accused in the Malegaon blasts case. The other is sitting Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay. An IPS officer and a member of an erstwhile Chhattisgarh-based royal family are also to be interrogated.
Shehla Masood had stepped out of her home at 11am on August 16 to join Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal bill campaign at the boat club in Bhopal. She was later found dead with a bullet wound in her neck in her car parked outside her home.
Sources in the police department said most of the suspects are Masood's former friends who later began evading her. Their rifts occurred after Masood became an RTI activist. Police also suspect that her murder could have been executed by a shooter from Bhind district in Chambal.
Masood ran an event management company, Miracles, until 2009. It organized a number of programmes hosted by the state culture department including a dance show performed by BJP MP Hema Malini in Bharat Bhavan multi-arts centre in Bhopal in July 2008.
Sources in police headquarters revealed that at least one major RSS function held outside the state was also organized with the help of Miracles.
Masood got these assignments allegedly upon the insistence of Dhruv Narayan. Her differences with IPS officer Pawan Shrivastava (now DIG Indore) started around this time. Shrivastava was then director, culture department.
Masood acquiring government assignments through Dhruv Narayan allegedly upset Shrivastava, and he refused to clear her payments after which she complained to the state's DGP SK Rout and the home minister, claiming a threat to her life from Shrivastava.
During the interrogation, Dhruv Narayan admitted that not only was Masood in touch with him but he was also attached to her NGO Uday for a while. However, he said he later had differences with the RTI activist. “She used to speak to me often”, Singh told cops.
BJP sources, however, said that Singh had started avoiding her since early this year. Police are also probing why the friend of a prominent BJP leader had purchased property for her in the outskirts of Bhopal; he was instrumental in setting-up a meeting between the BJP leader and Masood, says a Times of India report.