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Polygraph test plea in youth murder

The government railway police have filed a petition in the court of judicial magistrate to conduct a polygraph test on Chhathu Sahni, the prime suspect in the murder of Assam youth Pritam Bhattacharjee.

Katihar superintendent of rail police (SRP) Sukan Paswan said a petition has been filed in the court of the chief judicial magistrate to seek permission for conducting a polygraph test on Chhathu. “The directive of the court is awaited,” he said.

Sahni is lodged in Khagaria divisional jail. He was arrested from his native village in Naugachia police district on August 8 and subsequently produced in court, which remanded him to judicial custody.

The SRP said the decision to conduct polygraph test was taken after efforts to elicit more information from Chhathu proved futile. “He is a hard nut to crack,” Paswan said, adding that call details of the mobile phones of some of his associates were obtained and subsequently analysed but that did not help much to the investigating team.

The investigators were hopeful of cracking the case after apprehending Chhathu, a professional thief. Sources in the GRP said the police officers interrogated Chhathu in the jail several times.

“Our hands are tied. We cannot apply third degree,” a police officer associated with the investigation, said.

Pritam, a student of atomic physics went missing from Naugachia railway station while travelling from Guwahati to Delhi by Awadh Assam Express on July 9, 2012. His body was found six days later.

Police believe Pritam was kidnapped from Naugachia and kept on sedatives and apprehended that he may have died of an overdose.