Friday, August 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Madhu blames Pramod Mahajan
No hand in Shivani’s murder: Minister
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 15
The Shivani Bhatnagar murder case took a dramatic turn tonight when Ms Madhu Sharma, wife of Mr Ravi Kant Sharma, IPS, who is accused by the Delhi Police as the prime suspect in the case, named the Union Parliamentary Minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan, as being responsible for the murder.

At an impromptu press conference held outside her Sector 6 residence here late tonight, Ms Sharma if the Delhi Police was linking her husband, an IG with the Haryana Police, with Shivani’s murder on the basis of phone calls, then the police should also interrogate Mr Mahajan with whom also Shivani was in regular touch on the phone.

However, Mr Mahajan denied the allegations levelled by Madhu and said he only had “professional relationship” with Shivani, who was covering the BJP.

Ms Sharma alleged that the Delhi Police was pressurising one Mr Kukreja, a family friend of the Sharmas, to say that Ravi was using his phone to keep in touch with Shivani and other accused in the case. Highly agitated Madhu alleged that her husband was hiding at the same place where Mr Mahajan used to meet Shivani. She said if the police did not interrogate Mr Mahajan because the latter had said that he had professional relationship with Shivani, “So has my husband said many a time.”

She dared newsmen to go and ask Mr Mahajan about his role in the murder. “Koi nahin jayega. Sab ke sab chamche hain Mahajan aur Advani ke,” she said. She accused the Delhi Police of harassing her family members and friends. She also all alleged that the police was obtaining “forcible confessions” from accused.

Ms Sharma alleged that first her car was hit from behind by an unidentified vehicle on the National Highway No. 1, for which she lodged a report at the Gharaunda police station in Karnal district and her driver, Rajbir, was picked up by the Delhi Police for interrogation.

She alleged that the Delhi Police had tortured Shri Bhagwan Sharma, one of the accused in the case, because the police wanted him to name her husband in the case. She also claimed that when the case was initially investigated, the investigating team was directed not to question any politician in this case.

She said if Mr Mahajan could be let off by the Delhi Police because he had claimed that he was innocent, so her husband had said many a time. She alleged that different investigation teams were coming out with contradictory theories about the so-called motive behind the murder of Shivani. Last year the Delhi Police wanted to frame her husband by saying that Shivani was carrying his child. Now the police was alleging that Shivani was murdered because she was blackmailing Ravi by saying that she would file a rape charge against him.

She also alleged that her sister was being harassed by the Delhi Police because she had visited her. Even family friends were being questioned repeatedly by the police.

NEW DELHI: Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan on Thursday refuted the charges levelled against him by Ms Madhu Sharma, wife of IPS officer Ravi Kant Sharma, in the murder of journalist Shivani Bhatnagar.

“I totally refute the charge”, Mr Mahajan said.

He said the allegations against him had been made by the wife of a person who had been refused bail by several courts.

He said his relationship with Shivani Bhatnagar was purely professional that a politician had with the presspersons. “I am also curious to find out who is behind the heinous crime”, Mr Mahajan said. He said he was ready to face any inquiry by the CBI or by the Press in his regard.


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