Congress demands CBI probe into legislator’s murder (Lead)

Bhopal, April 14 (Inditop) The Congress party in Madhya Pradesh Tuesday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the murder of its legislator Makhan Singh Jatav and called for a shutdown in Bhind and Datia districts to protest the killing.

Jatav was shot at from point blank range by four unidentified people near Chharetav village in Bhind district, around 550 km from here, Monday night.

“Jatav received bullet injuries in his head and was rushed to a hospital in Gwalior, where doctors pronounced him dead,” Inspector General of Police Arvind Kumar told IANS.

The slain legislator from Gohad assembly constituency was returning after canvassing for Bhagirath Prasad, the Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Bhind.

Prasad alleged that the murder was the result of a political conspiracy hatched by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and called for a CBI inquiry. He has also demanded the arrest of former BJP legislator Lal Singh Arya with whom Jatav had a verbal spat April 9.

“The security situation in the state can be gauged from the fact that even the people’s representatives are not safe here. Such an incident just before the Lok Sabha polls indicates that criminal elements are moving around without any fear in the BJP rule,” said state Congress president Suresh Pachouri.

Demanding deployment of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) companies in Bhind, Pachouri said the district returning officer and superintendent of police should be expelled from service.

Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia described the day of the legislator’s murder as “a black day in the history of Indian democracy and politics”.

Govind Singh, Congress legislator from Bhind, has also accused BJP workers of involvement in the murder.

Responding to the allegations, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told reporters: “The Congress should not politicise the murder and wait for the police report.”

Describing the murder as “unfortunate”, he vowed stern action against the guilty after police investigation in the case was complete.

“I am very dejected with this incident as there should be no room for violence in politics. I can only assure that stringent action will be taken against the guilty after the probe but the Congress should abstain from politicising the matter,” he added.

However, the Congress called for a shutdown in Bhind and Datia.

“The shutdown has so far been peaceful. No incident of violence has been reported from anywhere in the two districts,” a police official said.

A large number of Congressmen Tuesday gathered outside the mortuary in Gwalior where the body of Jatav had been sent for post-mortem examination. After the autopsy, his corpse was sent to Gohad.

The funeral is slated for Wednesday afternoon. All India Congress Committee (AICC) general Secretary Digvijay Singh, Scindia and Pachouri are expected to attend it.

Police said security personnel have been deployed in large numbers in Gohad from where Jatav was elected to the state assembly in the November 2008 polls.