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Delay whiff as Arjit warrant eludes cops

Patna/Bhagalpur: Bhagalpur police's role in the case pertaining to Arjit Shashwat, the son of central minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, has come under a cloud as its petition filed in a court on Thursday seeking an arrest warrant against the young BJP leader was turned down on technical grounds.

Shashwat has been accused of inciting violence in Bhagalpur's Nathnagar locality on March 17 during a procession taken out under the banner of the Bharatiya Navvarsh Jagran Samiti.

Bhagalpur police declared him an absconder on Wednesday though that very evening, he held a news meet in Patna and dared the government to arrest him.

Investigating officer Hareram Choudhary moved the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate of Bhagalpur, A.K. Srivastava, on Thursday, seeking a warrant against Shashwat.

The court, however, sought to know from the police why the warrant had been sought against only one of the nine accused.

Similarly, the investigating officer was caught on the wrong foot as he had asked for an arrest warrant against eight of the 12 named accused in another case lodged with the Nathnagar police station in connection with the flare-up.

An assistant public prosecutor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the manner in which the police approached the court for a warrant of arrest against the accused has raised questions about their role. "It is evident that the process is being delayed deliberately to benefit the accused," he told The Telegraph.

He clarified that the court had directed investigating officer Choudhary, an assistant sub-inspector of police, to file a petition seeking warrant of arrest against all the accused in both the cases.

When contacted, Bhagalpur senior superintendent of police Manoj Kumar said the petitions for the arrest warrant were rejected on technical grounds and the errors were being rectified. "The police will file petitions afresh shortly," he said.

After his bravado of Wednesday, Shashwat lay low on Thursday and his whereabouts were not known. His cellphone was switched off throughout the day.

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