Friday, October 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Shivani murder case
Two more held
Clean chit to Mahajan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
In a significant development in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, the Delhi police today made two more arrests, which will help the Delhi police to nail the main suspect and former Haryana IGP, R.K. Sharma.

A senior crime branch official said Ved Prakash, alias Kalu, and Ishwar Singh were arrested and the details of why they were arrested were not revealed. Ved Prakash was said to be the driver-mechanic of the car in which Sri Bhagwan Sharma, Pradeep Sharma and Satya Prakash travelled to Shivani’s house in Navkunj Apartment in East Delhi on the fateful day.

However, the details about Ishwar Singh are not known. With the two being arrested the total number of arrests in the case has gone up to seven, and the other five R.K. Sharma, Sri Bhagwan Sharma, Pradeep Sharma, Satya Prakash and Ved Sharma — are already in police custody.

The official said the two were arrested on charges of helping the accused and participating in the conspiracy to eliminate Shivani. She was found killed in her house on January 23, 1999, when she was alone with her infant son at home. Even the clues about the two were said to have been provided by Ved Sharma during interrogation by the crime branch. Ved Sharma was arrested on September 30 from the Gurgaon jail where he was serving a seven-year jail term in another case.

Meanwhile, a crime branch team has left for Mumbai with R.K. Sharma to reconstruct the whole sequence of events in the murder case. The accused was serving as Director, Vigilance of Air India in Mumbai when Shivani was killed in Delhi.

To tie the loose ends, an astrologer, Dev Vashisht, was asked for the second time to appear before the crime branch for further interrogation. Sources said Vashisht who had lots of property had a key involvement in the case as a deal was possibly struck with Satya Prakash to get the job done for the property.

Meanwhile, Ved Prakash has been remanded in police custody till October 8 after being produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate in Karkardooma courts. The police said Ved Prakash who was being interrogated at the crime branch in Adarsh Nagar would be confronted with R.K. Sharma.

Meanwhile, six days into interrogation of R.K. Sharma, the Delhi police today sought to give a clean chit to Union Minister Pramod Mahajan against whom the prime suspect’s wife had made wild allegations.

Claiming that extensive media coverage of Sharma’s interrogation was “hampering investigations”, ACP Qamar Ahmed said: “A few prominent papers have tried to hint at the involvement of persons, including a Union Minister and others; such reports have no authentic basis”.

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