26 Sep 2020: Businessman's murder in UP: Accused IPS officer evading police's calls
IPS officer Manilal Patidar, the main accused in the murder case of a businessman in Uttar Pradesh's Mahoba district, is not taking the calls of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), that is probing the matter.
The suspended officer is untraceable and his lawyer claimed he tested positive for coronavirus, top cop Prem Prakash informed media last night, reports NDTV.
Here are more details.
Background: Harassed by IPS officer, businessman released video, was killed later
Earlier this month, Indrakant Tripathi leveled serious corruption allegations against Patidar. Tripathi was involved in the mining business and said Patidar was pressurizing him for money.
In a viral clip, Tripathi claimed if he were to die under any circumstances, Patidar, the former SP of Mahoba, must be blamed.
Days later, Tripathi was found inside his Audi car, with a gunshot wound.
Aftermath: IPS officer was suspended, booked for murder, but not grilled
Subsequently, a case was registered with Patidar and SHO Devendra Shukla becoming the main accused. They were also suspended on orders of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Local businessmen Suresh Soni and Brahmdutt were also named. Tripathi's business partners Purushotam Soni and Bal Kishore are also under scanner.
However, while SIT recorded the statements of Suresh and Brahmdutt, it failed to question the suspended cops.
Statement: Police have found no "evidence" of murder so far
About the investigation's progression, Prakash said that SIT asked Patidar to join the probe. "He is not picking up the phone and we have not found his location," he revealed.
Prakash added, "So far in the investigations, we have no proof of murder but the circumstances of the death will continue to be investigated."
He also said the bullet was fired from Tripathi's licensed pistol.
Fact: The shots were fired from the front: Prakash
"The bullet was found in the back of the seat and the wounds suggested the exit wound had a lot of blood loss, which means shot was fired from the front. The entry would have blackening suggesting the fire was from a close-range," Prakash said.
Gambling: Tripathi was upset after gambling habits were exposed, claimed police
Moreover, Prakash claimed Tripathi had a "deep sense of insecurity." "A video showing Tripathi gambling went viral on September 8, and that led Tripathi to the verge of a breakdown," he said.
He revealed Tripathi's name was omitted initially and then added to a gambling case filed on August 9.
To note, Patidar had also claimed that Tripathi was involved in a gambling racket.
Family: Separately, family dissatisfied as police isn't sharing crucial information
Meanwhile, Tripathi's family seemed dissatisfied with how the probe was shaping up.
The deceased's brother Ravi Kant told IE, "SIT is regularly calling us for questioning. On Tuesday, I again went to SIT and stayed at the police lines for around three hours."
"We have no information on what evidence police have collected so far. Police are not sharing information," added Tripathi's nephew Kamal Kant.