Jharkhand Minister faces murder conspiracy charge

April 17th, 2008 - 4:18 pm ICT by admin  

Ranchi, April 17 (IANS) Police have registered a first information report (FIR) against Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Enos Ekka for allegedly conspiring to kill the father of a former government functionary. The FIR was filed here Wednesday evening on a complaint by Rukmini Devi, wife of the deceased Gajendra Sahu whose son Tileshwar G. Sahu was a former chairman of the Jharkhand Pollution Control Board (JPCB).

According to the complaint, Sahu was gunned down Wednesday by unidentified assailants in Jamdih village of Gumla district, around 170 km from Ranchi. He was feeding cattle at his son-in-law’s farm when the incident occurred.

Rukmini Devi has lodged a complaint with Kamdara police against seven persons, including minister Ekka, for allegedly plotting to kill her husband.

Police sources say they suspect the role of Rautia Communist Centre (RCC), a Maoist group, in the killing.

“The assailants wanted to abduct my father so that they could trap me. When he resisted, he was killed. Ekka conspired to kill my father,” Tileshwar told reporters here Wednesday.

Ekka has dismissed the charges as baseless and a conspiracy to malign his image and reputation. “Tileshwar is a mean minded person. The murder case can be handed over to any agency to investigate,” Ekka said.

Tileshwar was once a close associate of Ekka and played a crucial role in securing his support and thus enabling the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) form a government led by Arjun Munda in 2005. Munda rewarded him with the chairmanship of JPCB.

Later, differences cropped up between Tileshwar and Ekka who withdrew support to the Munda ministry in September 2006 paving the way for Madhu Koda to become chief minister.

Koda removed Tileshwar from the post of JPCB chairman and also jailed him in connection with the killing of eight tribals in Simdega in October 2006. Ekka and Tileshwar reportedly turned bitter political adversaries thereafter.

Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda has rushed to defend Ekka. “Anyone can lodge a police FIR against anyone. It does not mean that he has committed the crime. Only proper investigations will reveal the truth,” Koda said.

Former chief minister and BJP leader Arjun Munda has demanded that Ekka be arrested and an impartial probe look into the murder.

The Congress, too, has demanded Ekka’s sacking from the ministry and a fair inquiry, according to party legislator Niel Tirkey.

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