Gandhinagar: Following in the footsteps of their
late father, the two sisters of BJP leader and former minister
Haren Pandya who was killed in 2003 have decided to approach Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh in their quest for justice. One sister
alleged that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was linked to
The two sisters - Chhaya Pandya and Bharati Pancholi - like their
father Vitthalbhai Pandya told mediapersons Friday they were
unhappy with the CBI probe and would approach the prime minister
seeking his direct intervention as the premier investigating
agency works under him.
Meanwhile, Jagrutiben, wife of the former leader, was subdued in
her reaction to the high court judgement and appealed to BJP
leaders L.K. Advani and Chief Minister Modi to bring the "real"
killers to book.
The two sisters in deciding to appeal to the prime minister seem
to have taken their cue from government spokesperson Jay Narayan
Vyas who on Wednesday had stated that Advani could not be held
accountable for the botched up CBI probe in the Haren Pandya
murder case as the agency works directly under the prime minister.
While the trial court had sentenced nine people to life
imprisonment, the high court absolved all of them of the murder
charge while severely criticizing the CBI investigation of the
Chhaya told mediapersons that she feels that indirectly or
directly, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is involved in
Magan Barot, counsel for Haren's late father Vitthalbhai Pandya,
said that the central probe agency did not even take the testimony
of the family members while Vitthalbhai had demanded that Narendra
Modi be questioned in this case.
He made it clear that in case the
family or any organization wants to take up this case and pursue
it further, he would be happy to extend legal support to the
Reacting to Jagruti's appeal to Chief Minister Modi and Advani,
the sisters said that they are not hopeful of any help from them.
"Our father Vitthalbhai was forthright in stating that Haren's
murder was political and directly or indirectly, Gujarat Chief
Minister Narendra Modi has a role in it. We are only taking it
further for we stoutly believe in it," said Chhaya Pandya.
Haren Pandya, former minister of state for home, was shot dead on
the morning of March 26, 2003.
The case acquired political overtones after his family claimed
that it was a political murder. The CBI which investigated the
case had arrested 15 people out of the 19 named as accused.
A designated POTA court had convicted 12 people June 25, 2007,
with nine of them being given life term. On Monday, the state high
court acquitted the 12 of murder.
The CBI investigation of the case has come under criticism by the
division bench in its judgement.