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IPS officer wasn’t murdered: CBI

Bhopal, June 6: The CBI today chargesheeted the driver of a tractor-trolley that ran over an IPS officer who tried to stop the vehicle carrying illegally mined stones, but said it was a case of “accident” rather than murder.

IPS officer Narendra Kumar’s death on March 8 had put the Shivraj Singh Chauhan government in the dock with the Congress and others claiming a nexus between Madhya Pradesh’s ruling BJP and the mining mafia.

The young officer’s father had claimed the alleged murder was a well-planned conspiracy.

But the CBI, in its 12-page chargesheet in Indore before judicial magistrate Suman Srivastava, charged the driver, Manoj Gujjar, under penal code sections 304 (culpable homicide) and 353 (obstructing government work) and under the motor vehicles act. The chargesheet also said Gujjar did not possess a driving licence at the time of the incident. If the charges are proved, Gujjar could be jailed for 10 years or even life.

Prosecutor A.H. Khan told the designated CBI court the agency had found out that Kumar’s death was “not an intentional murder” and was non-political. The agency also ruled out the involvement of the local mining mafia.

Kumar, 30, who was serving as sub-divisional police officer in Barmore town in Morena district, was killed hours after he had resumed duty after Holi festivities had ended on March 8 afternoon.

The officer had spotted the tractor-trolley and given chase after the driver ignored his signal to stop. He followed the vehicle, cut in and stood in front of the tractor-trolley after getting down from his Jeep, a police officer had said. But the trolley driver accelerated and ran him over.

Following allegations that the state’s mining mafia was responsible for Kumar’s death, chief minister Chauhan had handed over the case to the CBI.

During investigations, the CBI is said to have learnt that Gujjar was involved in the sale of illegally mined stones and that his daily earnings were modest. But he did not appear to have links with the local mining mafia or politicians allegedly involved in patronising illegal mining.

Kumar, an officer of the 2009 batch, was married to Madhurani Tewati, an IAS officer who was serving as additional collector at Gwalior.