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Dhanbad judge death case: CBI lodges two more FIRs, video of his ‘road accident’ had raised questions

The Judge was hit by a three-wheeler at 5:00 am on July 28 and was declared dead on arrival at the Dhanbad Medical College.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), investigating the alleged murder of Uttam Anand; Additional District and Sessions Judge of Dhanbad has lodged two fresh FIRs.

Jharkhand Police had filed two cases to investigate the theft of the autorickshaw and three mobile phones linked with the suspicious death of the judge. The central investigation agency has taken over investigation of the both cases from Jharkhand Police as both the cases appear to be closely connected with the judge murder case where two persons were arrested. The CBI has even conducted their narco test to go to the bottom of the truth.  

Besides, the agency has also doubled the cash reward from Rs five 5 to Rs 10 lakh for anybody furnishing worthwhile information relating to this murder case. So far, the CBI could not make any major breakthrough in this case. The bench of Chief Justice of Jharkhand High court Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan has been monitoring the investigation.

Now, the 20-members Special Task Force of Special Crime Unit II of the CBI; headed by CBI ASP Vijay Kumar Shukla has three cases to investigate.

The first and the main FIR (RC 04/2021) was lodged on August 4 while two other FIRs were lodged on the date of September 7 related to theft of an auto rickshaw and house breaking. Both were lodged in Dhanbad.

Notably, the judge was grievously injured by a speeding auto rickshaw in Dhanbad on the morning of July 28 when he was on way to his residence after morning walk. Later on, the police traced auto rickshaw and arrested Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma who were driving it. Both claimed that they were drunken when they mistakenly hit the judge and fled away.

Further investigation revealed that the auto rikshaw (JH 10R 0461) used in the crime was stolen by the accused. Its owner Sugani Devi, a native of Bhouri Khatal in Dhanbad had lodged an FIR at Pathrdih police station of district a day after the judge died.

But, it sounded unusual to the agency that the auto rickshaw was actually stolen on the intervening night of July 17 and the FIR was lodged on July 29. Later on, Dhanbad SSP Sanjeev Kumar suspended officer in-charge of Pathrdih police station Umesh Manjhi for delay in lodging the FIR. There is a huge mismatch in the police FIR and the written complaint. The FIR report mentions that the auto was stolen on the intervening night of July 17 whereas in the written complaint the date of theft is mentioned as July 27.

This was not a simple case of theft as investigation revealed Ramdev Lohara, husband of Sugani Devi; had hatched conspiracy along with Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma to misplace the auto to claim the insurance.

The second FIR was lodged by Purnendu Vishwakarma from Dhanbad against accused Rahul Kumar Verma on August 13. The complainant said that on the night of July 28, three mobile phones fitted with SIM cards were stolen from his house by unknown persons. Vishwakarma in the FIR said that since his mobile phones were not costly, he was preoccupied with works he could not inform the police on time. A week later he just lodged a missing report which was not an FIR. Vishwakarma said he decided to lodge FIR when later on police informed him that mobile phone has been recovered.

What is unusual in both the cases is the timing of the crime and the time by which FIRs were lodged where accused are allegedly involved in hitting the judge also. So far that auto rickshaw is the main murder weapon.

The death of judge left the judiciary and Bar across the country stunned when the CCTV footage of the accident became viral. Jharkhand Police started investigation on the basis of the written complaint of Kirti Sinha, widow of the deceased The Supreme Court too hearing the larger issues of safety and security of the judges. The Supreme Court initiated hearing titled In Re: Safeguarding courts and protecting judges (death of Additional Sessions Judge, Dhanbad). The Supreme Court expressed concern over threat faced by judicial officials.  

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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