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Soni pushes for Jha DNA test

Ranchi, Sept. 1: Soni Devi, who claims to be the wife of agriculture minister Satyanand Jha Batul, today filed a criminal writ in Jharkhand High Court seeking a DNA test of her son and the BJP leader to prove her allegations.

The 41-year-old para-teacher from Jamtara who wants legal recognition for her son Vishal, said in the petition that Jha had been in a relationship with her and was the father of the five-year-old boy.

She alleged that she had earlier raised the issue but the minister somehow cooled down the matter with false assurances to accept her in public.

After Soni started making claims of legal recognition for her son, Batul denied the allegations, she said.

Soni has sought directions from the high court to the home and health departments to conduct the necessary test on Batul and Vishal to prove that their DNAs match and they are father and son.

She has also said that as Batul is a minister in the ruling government, he has been evading the test on one pretext or the other.

Meanwhile, the Jharkhand State Mahila Congress Committee has come out in support of Soni Devi and took out a procession from Congress Bhavan to Albert Ekka Chowk. The agitators also garlanded a picture of Batul with shoes and slippers and demanded action against him.

Last week, Soni Devi had moved the State Commission for Women, while Bhupen Choudhary of Karjori village in Jamtara — who she had married in 1992 and reportedly separated from a couple of years later — filed a complaint case in a local court saying they were still husband and wife.

In a complaint case in the same court, Batul’s son Braj Kishore also alleged that Soni Devi and her brother Santosh were trying to malign his father and family by publicly making false statements regarding their relationship.

Questioning her allegations, Batul had told The Telegraph: “If I had married her in 1995-96, why was she silent all these years?” He had also said that he was ready for any inquiry, including paternity test, to disprove Soni Devi’s claims.