Shehla Masood Murder: Court Awards Life Imprisonment to Jahida, Saba
Indore: A special Central Bureau of Investigation court on Saturday awarded life-imprisonment to four including Zahida Parvez prime accused of RTI activist Shehla Masood’s murder while clemency was offered to fifth accused Irfan who had turned government witness in the case.
The high-profile murder case had hit national headlines after names of Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, a RSS functionary and several others figured in the probe.A big crowd was witnessed in the court premises since the decision was to be delivered and after the accused were produced in the court, the court delivered the verdict handing life-imprisonment to Zahida, Saba Faruqui, Shaquib ad Tabish while Irfan was acquitted in the case as he turned approver.
On Aug 16, 2011, the event management executive turned RTI-activist Shehla had been found dead with bullet shot on the neck inside her car just outside her residence in Koh-e-Fiza area in Bhopal. Police dubbed it as suicide and after all around furore, the probe was handed over to CBI on August 19 and the apex investigation agency had on September 3, 2011 had registered a case and undertook the probe of this alleged murder.
After scanning lakhs of phone calls and quizzing hundreds of persons, the CBI had netted prime accused Zahida, Shehla’s old acquaintance, her fried Saba and contract killers –Irfan, and his aides Shaquib Danger and Tabish.
The prime accused Zahida after the verdict accused CBI of forging facts and evidences against her while talking to newsmen. “We got this extreme verdict without any concrete evidence and witnesses, it’s nothing but CBI pressure which rules the roost in MP,” she alleged.
Meanwhile, it took around five years and half, 137 hearings and 83 witnesses for CBI to bring the accused to book.
Evidences which the CBI compiled in the case suggested that Zahida had an affair with the then BJP legislator Dhruv Narayan Singh and as Shehla too came close to the MLA, Zahida out of jealousy hired contract killers and got her eliminated. The CBI had arrested Zahida, her friend Saba in Feb 2012 and Kanpur based sharp shooter Irfan and his aides in March 2012.
The matter had snowballed into major controversy as Shehla prior to her death was pursuing scores of corruption cases in Madhya Pradesh through her RTI queries.