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Kidnap heat mounts on Sita

Ranchi, March 29: More trouble is brewing for JMM MLA Sita Soren, who is cooling her heels in jail in the 2012 Rajya Sabha poll horse-trading scam, with the CBI yesterday lodging an FIR against her for allegedly abducting her former assistant Vikas Pandey, a witness in the same case.

The investigating agency, which was asked by Jharkhand High Court to take over the abduction probe from Ranchi police this February, filed the FIR at its special crime branch unit in Patna.

“The FIR was filed last evening and investigation will start soon. This is an important case as a CBI witness was allegedly abducted by the accused,” CBI joint director A.K. Singh told The Telegraph.

Sita, who had been evading police since last August after a CBI court issued an arrest warrant against her in the horse-trading case and surrendered only on February 25 this year, had obtained an interim bail in the abduction case from Argora police on July 17, 2013.

The daughter-in-law of JMM patriarch Shibu Soren had even turned up at the Assembly the next day to vote for dewar and chief minister Hemant Soren during the confidence motion for government formation.

“Ranchi police were investigating the high-profile case that is related to the Rajya Sabha cash-for-vote scam. In February this year, Jharkhand High Court ordered a CBI probe into the case as it was not satisfied with police probe,” a CBI source said.

According to a complaint lodged by Pandey’s wife Reena Devi, Sita, who is alleged to have accepted a Rs 1.5-crore bribe for her vote for Independent candidate R.K. Agrawal in the countermanded Rajya Sabha elections, had abducted her former assistant on December 24, 2012.

Pandey was returning home when the Jama MLA and her bodyguards allegedly abducted him from Harmu Housing Colony in Ranchi. After Reena Devi lodged the complaint, police rescued Pandey from the MLA’s Dhurwa residence the same day.

Pandey, who had been beaten black and blue, accused Sita of threatening him with dire consequences if he did not withdraw as a witness.


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