Bowing to the overwhelming demand of Central Bureau of
Investigations, (CBI), inquiry into the gruesome broad day-light
murder of RTI activist Ms Shehla Masood, the
Bharatiya Janata Party ruled
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed
the state Home Department to send a request to the premier
investigating agency for holding an inquiry into the crime.
official spokesman made the above announcement here on Thursday
evening. He said that the family members of Ms Shehla Masood, who
was gunned down in her car in front of her residence on August 16
morning, had met the Director General of Madhya Pradesh Police and
requested him for a CBI inquiry into the case.
Earlier in the day, Masood Sultan, the father of Ms Shehla Masood,
had expressed doubts of getting justice in her daughter’s murder
case. He explained that he being a lower-middle class person, he
was powerless to have an effective probe. He also alleged that in
January this year, Shehla had filed a complaint with the Lokayukta
that she feared threat to life from IPS officer Pawan Shrivastava.
The way the police were handling the probe created suspicion about
their sincerity, he said.
belong to lower middle-class and lack the power to purchase or to
influence a top politician or an official," Sultan said, talking
to reporters at his residence. "We expect no justice," he added.
Sultan, a retired government officer, said he wanted a CBI
After the murder, reports appeared in the local media that it
could be a suicide, he pointed out, and expressed suspicion that
these reports could be based on the information given by the
police. His daughter could not have taken her own life, he
weapon was found on the spot, yet media speculated about it being
a suicide, he said, adding that she was scheduled to go to the
United States in the first week of September, and had booked
tickets. Suicide, against this background, was improbable, he
said. Also, Islam considers it utterly wrong to take one's own
life, that too in the holy month of Ramadan, he said.
fear that investigation into
Shehla's murder would also reach a dead-end and the killer would
never be apprehended,"
Meanwhile, it may be mentioned here that Ajay Singh, the leader of
the main Congress Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, while
condemning the murder of Ms Shehla, had demanded a CBI inquiry
into it. He said that the day-light murder in the state capital
has proved that law and order situation in Madhya Pradesh has
Writing a letter to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh
Chouhan, Singh had pointed out that Ms Shehla Masood was working
as a RTI activist since a long time. Due to this many officers in
the police administration and politicians were coming under her
purview for their many a malpractices and deeds of corruption. In
such a situation any probe by state agencies cannot be impartial
and as such the whole gamut of investigations into the case must
be handed over to CBI forthwith.
Singh recalled that last year Ms Shehla in a letter to the state
Chief Minister and Home Minister along with high officers of the
state and the police administration had named a senior police
officer from whom she apprehended threat to life. However, despite
this no security was provided to her and no action was taken
against the named police officer goes to show that influential
persons are involved.
expressed apprehension that police is trying to downplay the crime
and hush up the case. This is evident from the fact that despite
the crime appears to be that of murder but police has started to
float the theory of suicide even though no weapon has been on the
scene of crime. Only a CBI inquiry will unravel truth and give
justice to Ms Shehla’s family.
While, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh in a letter
to state Chief Minister Chouhan while expressing shock at Ms
Shehla Masood's death had sincerely hoped that the State
Government will bring the killer or killers to book soon.
"She was young and enthusiastic and I am very sad that she met an
untimely end in such a brutal manner. This is the least we owe to
the memory of a committed activist," had said the former Minister
of State for MoEF.
Commenting on the slain activist's correspondence with him over
several issues of environment and tiger conservation, the former
Environment Minister said: "She brought to my notice issues
relating to Panna and Bandhavgarh and I recall having spoken to
Rajesh Gopal, member secretary NTCA and HS Pabla, MP Chief
Wildlife Warden about her complaints."
Meanwhile, All India Democratic Women’s Association, (AIDWA),
while condemning the heinous murder of social activist Ms Shehla
Masood by unknown assailants, had demanded that pre-emptive
measures to prevent such mafia style murders should be undertaken
at the state and the national level. Checking rampant corruption
should be one such priority agenda for action.
AIDWA in a statement said that the killing is a shocking
indictment of the ruling BJP Government in Madhya Pradesh, and its
police force which failed to take action despite repeated
complaints from Shehla that she faced a threat to her life from a
senior police officer.
statement stated that the incident underscores the vulnerability
of social activists like Ms Shehla in a scenario where the nexus
between corporate greed, corrupt power brokers including
politicians, and mafia forces is on the rise. Ms Shehla’s brave
campaign to expose corruption in high places, her persistent
crusade against poachers, illegal timber and mining mafia, had
earned her many enemies. It is deeply regrettable that the state
Government could not protect the life of such a committed and
AIDWA urged a proper enquiry into the murder, and exemplary
punishment to all those guilty of this crime. The police officers
who ignored her complaints must also be held accountable for their