Lucknow, Sept. 21: The CBI today arrested former Uttar Pradesh minister Amarmani Tripathi in the Madhumita Shukla murder case.
Five bureau sleuths swooped down on Tripathi’s Lawrence Terrace bungalow in Lucknow after confirming that the DNA fingerprint of his blood sample matched that extracted from the slain poet’s foetus.
Madhumita, 24, was six months pregnant when two men shot her at her Paper Mill Colony flat here on May 9.
The sleuths asked Tripathi to come to their office for questioning. They formally arrested him after an hour of grilling. “I am being framed,” Tripathi said before being taken away. “The CBI investigation has proved to be worse than that done by the state CID.”
Soon after, he complained of pain in the chest and was taken to hospital for a check-up. He was later whisked away to an undisclosed destination.
The news brought cheer to Madhumita’s Lakhimpur home. Her mother Shanti described the arrest as the “triumph of the truth”. “Now I am confident that my daughter’s killers will be punished,” she said on the phone.
Both the BJP and the ruling Samajwadi Party — which Tripathi recently joined after ditching the Bahujan Samaj Party following the Mayavati government’s collapse — reserved their comments on the plea that the matter was sub judice.
The Samajwadi’s state ally, the Congress, however, welcomed the arrest. Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tewari said: “The Congress and the SP (Samajwadi) had jointly demanded Tripathi’s arrest when his name first figured in the murder during the Mayavati regime. I am happy that the CBI investigations have vindicated our stand.”
CBI sources said Tripathi would be produced before a magistrate here tomorrow and the bureau would seek his police remand. CBI’s director (prosecution) was expected to reach Lucknow for the purpose, they added.
Investigations had dragged — till the case was handed to the CBI — though police were said to have found sufficient evidence showing the murdered Hindi poet’s intimate relations with Tripathi. He was then a minister in the BSP government.