While the alleged murder of event manager-turned-RTI activist Shehla Masood continues to be shrouded in mystery, the role of Madhya Pradesh Police has come under the scanner with the revelation that her phone was in use hours after the death. Shehla’s mobile had been seized from the car where her body was found on August 16 but calls were made from it even when it was supposed to be in the police custody.
A senior police officer claimed that it was possible that calls were made to know the identity of persons in whose names numbers were stored in the handset. “In any case the details are stored in the service provider’s server, so the calls can’t be kept a secret,” the officer claimed, downplaying the revelation as “irrelevant” to the main investigation. A CBI officer refused to talk about the case, saying it would hamper investigations.
Investigations by the police have drawn criticism because the CBI exposed within hours of taking over the case that the car, an important piece of evidence itself, had not been searched thoroughly. After the initial forensic analysis, the car had been kept at Koh-e-fiza Police Station. The CBI officials while recreating the scene of crime found a gold pendant lying beneath the driver’s seat. A file was also found in the car though it was not clear what documents it contained.
Ironically, the police cited the recovery of these objects as “a proof” that they had not tampered with the vehicle and it was kept in a sealed condition. The CBI on Tuesday searched the M P Nagar office of Shehla’s event management firm, Miracles. Meanwhile, Bollywood and TV actor Kunika Lal, who claimed to be an RTI activist, met Shehla’s family and the CBI and sought an impartial probe. Lal said she had never met or heard of Shehla but was concerned because RTI activists were being targeted across the country.
- Shehla Masood case: evidence tampered with? (Sep 6, 2011, IBN)
- CBI reconstructs crime scene in Shehla Masood murder case (Sep 6, 2011, Hindustan Times)
- CBI searches Shehla Masood’s office (Sep 6, 2011, Rediff)
- ‘Why was Team Anna silent on RTI activist’s murder?’ (Sep 11, 2011, Hindustan Times)