Following the footsteps of their late father, the two sisters of former minister and BJP leader Haren Pandya who was killed in 2003 have decided to approach Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in their quest for justice. One sister alleged that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was linked to the murder.
The two sisters – Chhaya Pandya and Bharati Pancholi – like their father Vitthalbhai Pandya told mediapersons Friday they were unhappy with the CBI probe and would approach the prime minister seeking his direct intervention as the premier investigating agency works under him.
Meanwhile, Jagrutiben, wife of the former leader, was subdued in her reaction to the high court judgement and appealed to BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Chief Minister Modi to bring the ‘real’ killers to book.
The two sisters in deciding to appeal to the prime minister seem to have taken their cue from government spokesperson Jay Narayan Vyas who on Wednesday had stated that Advani could not be held accountable for the botched up CBI probe in the Haren Pandya murder case as the agency works directly under the prime minister.
While the trial court had sentenced nine people to life imprisonment, the high court absolved all of them of the murder charge while severely criticizing the CBI investigation of the case.
Chhaya told mediapersons that she feels that indirectly or directly, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is involved in Haren’s murder.
Magan Barot, counsel for Haren’s late father Vitthalbhai Pandya, said that the central probe agency did not even take the testimony of the family members while Vitthalbhai had demanded that Narendra Modi be questioned in this case. He made it clear that in case the family or any organization wants to take up this case and pursue it further, he would be happy to extend legal support to the cause.
The case acquired political overtones after his family claimed that it was a political murder. The CBI which investigated the case had arrested 15 people out of the 19 named as accused.
A designated POTA court had convicted 12 people June 25, 2007, with nine of them being given life term. On Monday, the state high court acquitted the 12 of murder.
The CBI investigation of the case has come under criticism by the division bench in its judgement.