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Murder shadow on Jogi

Raipur, June 5: Chief minister Ajit Jogi is in for more trouble as the son of a Nationalist Congress Party leader has accused him of ordering his father’s murder.

NCP state treasurer Ram Avatar Jaggi was shot dead around midnight in his Indica car by assailants who were travelling in a Bolero, police said.

Within hours of Jaggi’s death at a Raipur market, his son Satish filed a first information report accusing the chief minister and his son Amit of ordering the murder.

Jogi, already rattled by a CBI inquiry into his allegations against the Intelligence Bureau, scrambled to condole the death and set up a special team to investigate the murder.

The chief minister also urged his political rivals not to indulge in “petty and shallow” politics.

Though Jogi denied the charge, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his senior colleagues Vidya Charan Shukla and Tariq Anwar demanded a CBI probe because they said they had no faith in the administration.

Calling a Chhattisgarh bandh tomorrow, Pawar went a step further and accused the Jogi camp of issuing threat-calls to Shukla. “The political culture in Raipur is filled with threats and intimidation. We have no faith. Let there be a CBI probe,” he said.

The NCP said that it feared the FIR lodged by Jaggi’s son would be tampered because the party believed police were acting on the chief minister’s behalf.

The BJP, too, joined the call for a CBI probe and demanded Jogi’s resignation.

Other than Satish’s FIR, another has been filed by the station house officer of Mohdapara police station that does not mention the chief minister or his son. Senior police officers said the two FIRs would be merged later on the basis of investigations.

According to Shukla, his confidant Jaggi was constantly threatened with “dire consequences” for being associated with him. Shukla recently left the Congress to join the NCP.

Jaggi’s son, the party said, has endorsed Shukla’s line of thought. “Satish has said Jogi did not like Jaggi’s association with Shukla and on May 11, the chief minister had threatened his (Satish’s) father with dire consequences,” NCP spokesperson Pramod Choubey said.

Party sources in Raipur further alleged that Jaggi was summoned to the chief minister’s home a month ago and told not to side with Shukla.

With Congress leaders jumping to the chief minister’s defence, Jogi ruled out a CBI probe and said the state police would solve the case shortly.

“We think it (Jaggi’s murder) has to do with some business feud,” a source close to state home minister Nand Kumar Patel said. The “business rivalry” reportedly developed after Jaggi moved to quit a state road transport corporation job to get into the transport business.

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