The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Murder heat on Gehlot aide

Jaipur, May 28: Chief minister Ashok Gehlot finds himself facing trouble from the unlikeliest of quarters. His home minister Gulab Singh Shaktawat is embroiled in a controversy over the alleged murder of a servant hailing from the same village as himself.

In order to prevent Opposition parties from making political capital, Gehlot has ordered a CBI probe into the “murder”. He did so after Roop, the servant’s brother, alleged foul play.

Adding to Gehlot’s troubles is the BJP’s demand for an impartial inquiry. State BJP spokesperson Kali Charan Saraf has demanded Shaktawat’s resignation over the incident.

The minister has refused to comment on the incident, saying he had himself asked Gehlot for a CBI inquiry.

Badan Lal’s body was found near the railway track near Durgapura station on May 22. Sanganer police treated the death as a suicide, with a post-mortem being conducted on May 23. But after doubts were raised, a second autopsy was performed in Udaipur the next day.

Yesterday, Badan’s brother Roop tried to file a complaint with Sodala police station in Jaipur, alleging that Badan was murdered. The police there referred the complaint to Sanganer police station.

Roop alleged that the police were putting pressure on Badan’s family to keep quiet. He said family members noticed holes on either side of Badan’s head when his body was brought to their Khera Chor village in Udaipur district.

Badan went missing from Shaktawat’s house from May 10 to 21, but no complaint was lodged. The police informed Badan’s family that he had quit his job after stealing Rs 50,000 that had gone missing from Shaktawat’s house. On May 21, Badan, along with his uncle, returned to the house from Udaipur. Badan was found dead the following day with multiple injuries.

Roop said that on May 18, Udaipur district police threatened his entire family would be jailed if Badan did not return to Shaktawat’s house. The next day, Roop went to see Shaktawat. The latter allegedly threatened the family with dire consequences if Badan and the Rs 50,000 did not make it to his house.

Roop said Badan came to Jaipur with his uncle, Bhag Chand, on the evening of May 21 to meet the minister, who reprimanded him for leaving the house without telling anyone. Bhag Chand said the next afternoon, Badan left the house to buy vegetables. A short while later, news of his death spread.

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