Haren Pandya’s Murder Must be Reinvestigated, Says Gujarat Cop

Gujarat police officer YA Shaikh, who had investigated the mysterious killing of BJP leader and former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya in 2003 before it was taken over by the CBI, has called for the case to be reinvestigated.

Pandya was killed in mysterious circumstances on 26 March 2003, with his body being found in his car near the Law Garden Area of Ahmedabad.

WHAT HAS THE OFFICER SAID?

The ex-deputy superintendent of police told The Wire that the Gujarat High Court had suggested action against investigating officers from the CBI, which had taken over the case just two days after Pandya’s killing and was criticised for the way it carried out its probe.

Shaikh also reportedly said that there were discrepancies between the the facts of the case and the claims made by CBI, adding that the CBI should have probed the case afresh.

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THE CASE

After the CBI took over the Haren Pandya murder case, 12 Muslims were identified as accused, with their motive for the murder purportedly being to take revenge for the riots.

All the accused were acquitted by the Gujarat HC in 2011, as the latter slammed the investigation as “botched up and blinkered” and leaving “a lot to be desired”.

Many have speculated that there was a political conspiracy behind the former minister’s killing.

The case once again came into the spotlight in November last year when a prosecution witness in the Sohrabuddin case reportedly said that he was told by Sohrabuddin Sheikh that the contract of killing Pandya “was given to him by Vanzara” (Gujarat police official DG Vanzara).

The witness, Azam Khan, went on to purportedly claim, “I told the CBI officer about my discussion with Sohrabuddin at his house in Udaipur and the killing of Shri Hariyan Pandya by Tulsiram and one boy at the instance of Sohrabuddin…”

Several details pertaining to the death of Haren Pandya – including the time when he was murdered, the state in which he was found murdered – have not been adequately addressed till now.

The case is expected to be taken up by the Supreme Court later in January.

(With inputs from The Wire.)

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