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Meerut Sleaze
Lecturer was killed: Police
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, December 25
Kavita Rani, a 29-year-old lecturer who went missing two months ago, is believed to have been murdered. The murder accused Ravindra Pradhan confessed over a news channel and then, repeatedly, changed his statements.

He mentioned an untraceable video CD that forked out Rs 35 lakh in a blackmailing deal from an ex-minister. While an eager Meerut IG ruled out the involvement of any minister, former Rashtriya Lok Dal minister Mr Merajuddin resigned on “moral grounds”. The murder of Kavita Rani has all the ingredients of a fast-paced political thriller.

The sparks from the controversy surrounding the murder of Kavita Rani, an ad hoc lecturer with the Chaudhury Charan Singh University in Meerut, created a lot of heat in the Lucknow today with the names of at least three ministers, several MLAs, bureaucrats and a former Vice-Chancellor doing the rounds.

Resigning from the post of national vice-president of RLD, former minister Merajuddin spoke of a political conspiracy to sabotage his political career. Admitting that he knew Kavita just as he knew thousands of party workers, he has promised to sort out this mystery within a week.

Supporting the demand for a CBI enquiry, former Prime Minister V.P. Singh said that it was very important to get to the bottom of this matter in which the names of several ruling party ministers and even an MLA supporting the Jan Morcha was being mentioned.

Meanwhile, Meerut IG Jagmohan Yadav and SSP Navneet Sikera speaking to the media said that the murder of the young lecturer was alleged over a blackmail deal gone sour. While the IG gave a clean chit to the names of all the ministers reportedly close to the lecturer, Sikera said that he would be able to comment only after the investigation is completed.

A Meerut court remanded the main accused, Ravindra Pradhan, to police custody for two days today. Pradhan, who surrendered at the studio of a news channel in Noida yesterday, has confessed that he along with an associate, Yogesh, murdered Kavita on October 24 and disposed her body in the Ganga canal.

He also told a news channel that he had informed the Meerut police where the body could be found but they had not bothered to take him to the spot. Yogesh is yet to be arrested.

The motive according to Pradhan’s confession was Kavita’s demand for more money out of the Rs 35 lakh that they had made by preparing an indecent CD reportedly involving former irrigation minister Merajuddin.

Pradhan, who till yesterday was mentioning the name of two more SP ministers, today completely denied their involvement and said that the CD, which could not be found by the Meerut police, was about Merajuddin alone and had been made by Kavita in Lucknow. The minister had reportedly paid Rs 35 lakh to Yogesh in exchange of the CD, revealed Pradhan.



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