The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cops look for cop details
- Rajasthan police at Orissa govt door

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 2: A three-member team from Rajasthan police today requested the Orissa government to provide the property list, permanent address and service particulars of director-general of police (home guards) B.B. Mahanti, who is accused of shielding his son Bitihotra, a rape convict who has jumped parole.

Home secretary T.K. Mishra told reporters that the team led by additional superintendent of police Rajesh Singh met him today and asked for information on the DGP.

Rajasthan police had registered a case against Mahanti for allegedly helping his son jump parole. The DGP had reportedly signed a bail bond of Rs 50,000 for Bitihotra’s release on parole from November 20 till December 4.

The visiting police officers wanted to know whether Mahanti had gone on leave in November. “I assured them that we would verify the records and provide the required information. But as far as my memory goes, we did not grant him leave in November nor did we allow him to go outside the state,” claimed Mishra.

The home secretary confirmed that the officers also asked for the property statement and permanent address of Mahanti. “I asked them to contact the general administration department, which is the competent authority to give his property list,” he added.

Official sources said the team met chief secretary Ajit Tripathy and requested him to provide Mahanti’s property statement. Team leader Singh later said the Orissa government had been cooperating with them in the case.

Virendra Jakhar, the inspector in-charge of Jaipur’s Lal Kothi police station, where the case against Mahanti was lodged, reiterated his claim that the DGP had visited Jaipur and signed the parole petition. He claimed the senior IPS officer visited Rajasthan twice in November, on the 1st and on the 20th.

Mahanti has denied having appeared before the magistrate to furnish a bail bond of Rs 50,000 to get parole for his son on November 20.

Refuting the charge that he was “shielding” his son, Mahanti maintained he was on “official duty” in Orissa and not in Jaipur in November.

Jakhar, however, claimed: “We have material evidence to show that he (Mahanti) visited Jaipur and made several telephone calls. A senior IPS officer of the Rajasthan cadre had introduced him to the jail authorities.” The officer clarified that they arrived in Orissa not to arrest Bitihotra but to file an affidavit in the high court, collect information on the DGP and pursue the case registered against him.

The Rajasthan police submitted a counter-affidavit in the high court on Wednesday challenging the maintainability of Mahanti’s anticipatory bail application.

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