Poll panel orders transfer of three Jaunpur officials (Lead)

April 21st, 2009 - 1:14 am ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party New Delhi/Lucknow, April 20 (IANS) The Election Commission Monday ordered the transfer of three officials of Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur district over the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Indian Justice Party’s (IJP) Jaunpur candidate Bahadur Sonkar even as the state police dubbed the suspected murder as a “suicide”.
“After going through the report of two IAS (officers) deputed by the Election Commission to visit Jaunpur, the commission orders immediate transfer of Ramkishore, Additional Superintendent of Police (city), Dipender Nath Chaudhary, Circle Officer, and Sanjay Kumar Rai, SHO Jaunpur,” the poll panel said in a statement.

“Election will be held in Jaunpur (Lok Sabha constituency of Uttar Pradesh) as scheduled,” it said.

Addressing a press conference late Monday evening, state Director General of Police Vikram Singh said in Lucknow: “The preliminary investigation carried out by a special team headed by Additional Director General - Criminal Investigation Department - Padman Singh has found that prima facie the death of Bahadur Sonkar was a result of suicide.”

He parried questions raised by journalists and literally dragged away ADG (CID) Padam Singh in an obvious bid to avoid answering uncomfortable queries.

The ruling Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) nominee for the Jaunpur seat Dhananjay Singh is a key accused in the death.

Sonkar’s body was found hanging from a tree, at a height of 15 feet high, on April 13 days after he refused to withdraw his nomination. He was reportedly being pressurised to withdraw from the race by a local deputy superintendent of police, known for his proximity to Singh.

The poll panel had sent a special two member team of non-Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officers to carry out a separate inquiry into the incident.

It received the probe report on the death of Sonkar Sunday evening.

Sonkar’s brother Barhu Ram Sonkar had accused the state government of going all out to put a smokescreen over the alleged involvement of a BSP candidate in the murder.

The victim’s brother had filed a complaint to the Election Commission.

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