Motive yet unclear in Shehla Masood murder case

The motive behind the murder of MP RTI activist Shehla Masood continues to be shrouded in mystery even after investigators arrested three persons.

Bhopal: The motive behind the murder of
Madhya Pradesh RTI activist Shehla Masood continues to be
shrouded in mystery even after investigators arrested three
persons including a woman interior designer, in this

While the CBI arrested interior designer Zahida Pervez
and Shakib Ali "Danger" from here, the UP police has
apprehended one person from Kanpur.

Whether the murder was the result of a relationship that
Shehla is said to have with Zahida`s husband or was it
professional rivalry between the two over getting contracts
from the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation
(MPTDC) for their alleged proximity with BJP MLA and then
MPTDC Chairman, Dhruv Narayan Singh, are some questions that
the central agency needs to probe.

Sources said it was Shehla, who had introduced Zahida to
MPTDC, but when she got closer with the then Chairman and
started getting contracts, the RTI activist created hurdles by
filing number of RTI applications to block the projects.

Efforts to contact Dhruv Narayan on the issue proved
futile as he remained unavailable.

Though CBI has already quizzed Narayan in this regard,
whether it will call him again for further investigations in
the light of new developments in the case, is not yet clear.

CBI spokesperson, Dharini Mishra told PTI that "whether
to question him (Dhruv Narayan) again or not in this regard
would depend on the outcome of the investigations currently
underway and if something tangible comes out then definitely,
whoever the person may be, would be summoned."

"At present it is too premature to say whether he would
be called or not," she said.

Meanwhile, sources associated with the probe during the
initial phase said the CBI reached the alleged killers, on the
basis of call details generated from the tower located in the
Koh-e-Fiza area where Shehla was shot dead on August 16, 2011.

After analyising the calls details closely CBI reached
Zahida, Shakib Ali alias Danger and the Kanpur based shooters.

Though CBI claimed that Zahida has confessed before the
agency sleuths that it was she who had ordered Masood`s murder
because she was suspicious of the slain activist`s relations
with her husband. However, she later denied the same in the
CBI court at Indore and added that she has nothing to do with
the murder and was being framed by the CBI into it.

However, the alleged contract killer, who was arrested
in Kanpur in connection with the murder case, has confessed
that he and two others were hired for Rs 3 lakh for killing
the RTI activist in Bhopal last year, the UP police claimed.

According to police, during the interrogation, Irfan said
that he along with Shanu Alaunga, a sharpshooter who was shot
dead in an unrelated incident in November last year, and one
Salim had been hired for Rs three lakh by a Bhopal-based
person to carry out the murder.

Irfan claimed that it was Shanu who shot dead the RTI
activist on August 16 and later they returned to Kanpur.

Shanu was gunned down in November last year by two
motorcycle-borne youths outside the court here while the third
killer, Salim, is not yet arrested.

The case also took interesting turn when Zahida`s
mother-in-law Fatima alleged in the media that her daughter-
in-law is a very "cruel woman" and she had beaten her also and
could go to any extent to get things done.

But, a close relative of Zahida wishing anonymity said
that though `saas-bahu` relations being not good is a common
thing almost in every house, there is no truth in the
allegation that she used to assault her mother-in-law.

He also said that they belong to Bohra community which
is known for their business interests and never indulge in
such activities.


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