Maria won’t quit, but confusion clouds Sheena murder probe

Former Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria, who was abruptly promoted as director general of police (Home Guards), on Wednesday categorically assured that he will not quit, as uncertainty hit the investigation into the high-profile Sheena Bora murder case.

Late on Tuesday evening, the Maharashtra government decided that Maria, who handled the case since the beginning, would continue to supervise and monitor the probe.

However, till Wednesday evening, no written order to this effect was received by Maria’s office — and the probe suddenly seemed pushed to the backburner.

According to official sources, the investigations have reached a critical stage with the forensic matching of the DNA samples of the victim with her mother and prime accused Indrani Mukerjea, brother Mikhail Bora and biological father Siddhartha Das.

Besides, the probe has widened to investigating the money and property transactions with the possibility of some big names tumbling out when the police force was jolted by the shake-up on Tuesday.

An officer explained that new police commissioner Ahmad Javed has already taken office and as per norms, all officers and men must report to him.

With Maria supervising the investigation in the Sheena murder case, it was still unclear in what capacity he would be doing it, especially since the two departments — DGP Home Guards and DGP Mumbai Police Commissionerate — were vested with different powers and jurisdiction, he added.

Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamvar Rai have been arrested in connection with the murder of her daughter Sheena on April 24, 2012, and for dumping her body near a forested area in Gagode village in Raigad district.

The trio have been sent to judicial custody till September 21.

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Birth anniversary of Bhupenda celebrated

Over 180 open stages & parks inaugurated across State

The 89th birth anniversary of music maestro, the bard of Brahmaputra Dr Bhupen Hazarika was observed throughout the State in a splendid way on Tuesday. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi inaugurated 187 open stages and parks named after the balladeer’s Bhupen Hazarika in a programme centrally organized at Boko.

The open stages and parks are in 187 development blocks across the state, where people can stage cultural shows and other programmes free of cost round the year.

Inaugurating the open stages, Gogoi said, “Bhupen da was an international artiste and personality and at the same time a person of simplicity. Unity and integrity were his strength and he believed in his ideology of simplicity. He won the heart of every layman. He lives in the heart of every Assamese and will continue to live for ages to come.”

On the other hand, Cultural Minister Bismita Gogoi said that the ‘Samadhi Khetra’ will be completed soon. “As promised, the Samadhi Khetra of Dr Bhupen Hazarika will be completed by November,” she said.

The programme was also attended by Minister Rockybul Hussain and parliamentary secretary Rekibuddin Ahmed.

The Chief Minister earlier visited the music maestro’s final resting place at Jalukbari and paid tribute to the legend along with thousand others who thronged the ‘Samadhi Khetra to pay their tributes.

It may be mentioned that, apart from the government, various organizations such as Bishwaratna Bhupen Hazarika Samannay Satra (BBHSS), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) also organized various programmes in Jalukbari as well as other parts of the State to mark the day.

The AASU organized a programme at Dighalipukhuri where hundreds of singers from different colleges and universities of the performed the numbers of the bard of Brahmaputra. The tributary programme was inaugurated by AASU advisor Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya.

“Dr Bhupen Hazarika was an institution himself. We believe that his ‘Samadhi Khetra’ should be an extra ordinary one. Since the Gauhati University is already willing to donate more land for the memorial, we appeal the government to take up the issue and do the needful,” Dr Bhattacharya said.

The district administration also organized a tributary programme at Rabindra Bhawan of the city this evening and paid tribute to the maestro.

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SC stays CBI probe against Arunachal CM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the Gauhati High Court order directing a CBI probe against Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki for alleged corruption in awarding state contracts to his family members.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu also issued notice to the Arunachal government and the private party on whose PIL the high court had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation probe.

The court’s order came as senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Tuki, sought to question the high court’s August 20 order.

It has been alleged that Tuki awarded contracts without inviting tenders when he was the minister for works.